ADA Complementary Paratransit Basics: Part 1. Paratransit Eligibility. Photo: TARC. Meet Your Trainer. Donna Smith Director of Training Easter Seals Project ACTION. ESPA Technical Assistance. Strives to provide accurate information on the ADA Does not carry the force of law
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Easter Seals Project ACTION
Three categories of eligibility:
An assumption that once a bus system is served by automated bus stop announcements, people who are blind or have vision impairments can all use the transit system, ignores the fact that a case-by-case determination still needs to be made, due to many factors, including:
NOTE: The information on slides 15-20 comes from the ADA Topic Guide on ADA Paratransit Eligibility developed by DREDF and the FTA
Traveling to unfamiliar locations. For a location to be familiar means that the person knows how to use the fixed route service to get there. Some systems have wrongly classified a location as "familiar" simply because the person made trips there before on the paratransit system.
Traveling where there is not a safe, detectable path of travel. The conventional wisdom is that the individual must be able to stay at least five feet from quickly moving traffic and must have a detectable path that stays separate from the street. In addition to roadways without sidewalks, wide-open parking lots present another major barrier.
Crossing busy streets and intersections, including intersections that allow constant right-on-red turns, and intersections with crossings that aren't aligned. Further, the lack of accessible pedestrian signals and detectable warnings, important features of accessible public rights-of-way, may confer eligibility.
Traveling in areas with a lot of ambient background noise that precludes a traveler from hearing how traffic is moving and utilizing these cues.
Using bus stops that are not detectable. If a traveler cannot locate a bus stop (for example, if the pole is away from the sidewalk up a hill), the stop is not detectable. Bus stops that lack unique tactile identifiers are also, arguably, not detectable.
Traveling after dark (night-blindness issues).
Much depends on the level of independent travel skills of each person. This is information that only the rider and individuals who may have worked with him or her on mobility and orientation can provide.
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