Excerpt from: Wall Street Journal (click for full article)
Elevators on subways stop working, bus stops aren't announced and pathways or sidewalks are inaccessible. Every day, these types of problems create major issues for people living with disabilities when simply trying to get from one place to another. A U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics study found that 6 million people living with disabilities had difficulties accessing needed transportation. Concerns about accessible transportation have led many Independent Living Centers (ILCs) in California to increase their advocacy efforts to create long-term transportation systems change.
"Accessibility to transportation continues to be a significant issue for people living with disabilities," said Executive Director of the California State Independent Living Council (SILC) Liz Pazdral. "In addition to providing education and training on transportation options, ILCs throughout California are focusing on creating meaningful transportation systems change within their areas."
Dina Garcia and Cynde Soto, Systems Change Advocates for Communities Actively Living Independent & Free (CALIF), are leading the effort to create positive policy change for people living with disabilities in the Los Angeles area. With multiple transportation options available, including paratransit covering the entire service area, light rail, subway and fixed-route bus systems, Garcia and Soto believe things are getting better. But there is much more ground to cover in meeting one aspect of the Americans with Disabilities Act, "equal opportunity for public transportation."