Lack of Accessible Transportation May Lead to a Domino Affect
Individuals with disabilities make up about 6 million (40%) of the almost 15 million people in this country who have difficulties getting the transportation they need. Because many people with disabilities do not have the option to drive cars, lack of access to other modes of transportation disproportionately harms them. There are about 560,000 people with disabilities that never leave home because of transportation difficulties that currently exist.
Those with disabilities that live in rural communities face even greater barriers to accessible transportation. This is due to a significant lack of funding to rural communities which has resulted in a very short supply of public transportation, especially accessible public transportation. Since these individuals have no reliable way to get where they need to, they are unable to maintain employment. The unemployment rate of people with disabilities is 12.9 percent, while the unemployment rate for individuals without disabilities is 8.7 percent.
Health care is another crucial part of individuals with disabilities lives that is affected by lack of reliable accessible transportation. It is no secret that the majority of individuals with disabilities have an increased need for healthcare, and isolation from providers can have a profound impact on quality of life, health and safety. Accessible transportation options can make the difference between health care access or isolation.
Without access to transportation, people with disabilities will not be part of society’s economic environment and will continue to be alienated from the economic mainstream, thus causing a myriad of other problems, like homelessness and institutionalization.