John Cleveland Civil Rights Consulting

Course #A-11

Street Solutions to Everyday Challenges for Passengers with Disabilities

-One Day Course-

Bus operators, road supervisors and dispatchers face situations in the provision of service for people with disabilities that are often not addressed in any Department of Transportation (DOT) regulation, guidance document, Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Circular or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) law itself. Transit staff often has no place to go for answers and it is difficult for them to apply regulatory guidance to the situation on the street, resulting in a decline in service quality, and barriers to accessibility, frustrating both passenger and transit staff.

During the past five years there have been a greater number of regulatory changes to the provisions of the ADA and transit than during the entire 25 year history of the ADA. These changes encompass a new definition of a wheelchair, how to define legitimate safety concerns in boarding oversized wheelchairs and scooters, determinations of “direct threat’ to the safety of the vehicle and other passengers, suspension of service for conduct and paratransit no-shows, responding to reasonable modification requests for greater accessibility from passengers with disabilities, a new definition of origin to destination service, a new FTA ADA Guidance Circular and greater emphasis on transit policy development. Together, these relatively new regulatory and guidance changes offer valuable tools to operators, road supervisors and dispatchers in resolving problems that persist in service to passengers with disabilities.

Because of the numerous changes in regulatory guidance over the past five years, transit staff (especially the bus operator) is not always aware of these new problem solving resources and the flexibility that they represent. This course is an education and training effort to provide all of the tools necessary to create quality service for people with disabilities under the most unique and challenging scenarios. All of the regulatory and guidance changes that have been implemented during the last five years are covered in depth. Additionally an inventory of up to 30 “street scenarios” representing the most common problem areas challenging bus operators is available for the course. Recommended solutions to these street scenarios are developed by class participants for discussion and feedback. Participants are invited to present new “street scenarios” that are garnered from their own experience.