Disability Transportation Services: Resources and Organizations for the Handicapped or Mobility Impaired
There are many charities focused on those with disabilities, but even then, sometimes the most basic daily needs get overlooked. Mobility can be a serious challenge for millions of people, from seniors to families and individuals with all kinds of different disabilities or medical conditions. Fortunately, there are plenty of organizations willing to help out, provided you know where to look.
Government Mobility Services
Be sure to look for state or local organizations in your area. They might be able to provide concentrated assistance.
Start with paratransit in your area. Your city might be lucky enough to have accessible public transportation to begin with, but even if the primary public transit system doesn’t, the city should have specialized buses that you can use. These are part of the paratransit program.
If you are looking for transportation to and from a school, call the front or district office if it’s a public school. They will know where to direct you to arrange the necessary mode of transport.
There are national organizations focused on providing mobility assistance for a wider range of situations or personal needs:
- National Aging and Disability Transportation Center provides training, resources, and grants to those in need of mobility assistance
- Federal Transit Administration staffs a helpline that directs you to local transportation services for people with disabilities (888-446-4511)
- Non-Emergency Medical Transportation provides scheduled transportation to medical services for families on Medicaid
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration can help with modifying your own vehicle
If none of these services have the answers you want, call your Department of Transportation.
Private Mobility Organizations
There are few national, private organizations that directly provide mobility assistance; transportation is an inherently location-based issue, so local or state organizations will probably serve your needs best. If you can’t find any help in your area, look below for guidance:
- Volunteer Driver Programs various programs run at local levels, staffed by volunteers to transport the mobility impaired. This website will show all of the registered programs in your area.
- Angel Flight provides free medical care flights
- Mobility International USA supports mobility for people with disabilities in the broadest sense of the word; provides a platform for international travel and study
- Special Kids Fund donates vans for the mobility impaired
- National Organization for Vehicle Accessibility provides grants for vehicle modifications throughout the United States and Canada
Ridesharing for People with Disabilities
In today’s world, ride sharing apps like Uber and Lyft are becoming more and more common. These apps can fill your transportation needs whenever your traditional options fall apart, although they might be more expensive if used routinely. Additionally, they do have options for people with disabilities.
Uber and Lyft both provide handicap-accessible transportation. Depending on your area, you might have to schedule more in advance than a traditional ride. It will depend on the number of available, qualified drivers in your area.
Refer to the following pages for more information:
Transportation for those with handicaps or disabilities is often overlooked. The responsibility is often thrust unto the nearest caregiver, often a parent, but that isn’t always enough. Hopefully, with the help of the above organizations, you can effectively get from A to B without a hassle.
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Dayton is a chronic Wikipedia addict, which is detrimental to her social life but stellar for her writing. She resides in Boise, ID, surrounded by her own frantic outlines, highlighted encyclopedias, and potatoes. The latter was not by choice.
This post was updated February 28, 2019. It was originally published May 8, 2018.