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Getting to Work: Improving Job Accessibility for Disabled Workers

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Providing accessible, convenient transportation options for people with disabilities can be challenging, especially when they limit employment opportunities.  The Center for Workers with Disabilities has prepared a report, Getting to Work: A Case Study Report on Accessible Transportation Projects, profiling the efforts of four states to improve job accessibility for disabled workers.  The states of Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New Jersey have used funding from Medicare Infrastructure Grants to identify service needs and gaps and bring together various transportation agencies to discuss how to improve job accessibility.  In Illinois, the grant funded employer summits around the state, and local Chambers of Commerce are now establishing best practices for attracting and assisting disabled workers.  In New Jersey, NJ TRANSIT developed a five-year plan for increasing the number of disabled workers with full-time jobs in the state.  The Massachusetts Executive Office of Transportation identified eight strategic priority areas, one of which is focused on increasing transportation options for the disabled.  The state held a transportation summit in October 2009 and has developed an online trip planning tool.  The Minnesota Legislature set a goal of meeting 80% of the unmet transportation needs of the disabled throughout the entire state by 2015 and reaching 90% by 2020. Based on these case studies, the report identifies several strategies that communities can use to provide accessible transportation:

  • Convening stakeholders and providing a forum where state agencies, transportation entities, private transportation providers, employers, transportation brokers, state officials and others can engage in transportation planning.
  • Identifying goals that result in a win-win situation for all.
  • Using this information to plan for outcomes.
  • Identifying transportation needs, gaps, and resources in the state.
  • Working to address gaps and to leverage resources through transportation coordination, capital expenditures, and other strategies.
  • Assuring consumer access to transportation information through a single point of contact (for example, a web-based resource, a transportation brokerage, concierge services, or other trip planning tools).
  • Training consumers on the use of trip planning tools.

 

This report has been added to Best Practices: Getting to Work: A Case Study on Accessible Transportation Projects