Our vision for accessible transportation in the Alamo Area is to insure that all seniors and people with disabilities have safe, least restrictive and barrier free access to affordable transportation to meet personal needs
Alamo Area Accessible Transportation Coalition Initiative (AAATCI)
Welcome to the March edition of the Alamo Area Accessible Transportation & Mobility Newsletter, a forum to inform our community about accessible transportation and discuss opportunities for improvements.
This month's topics:
We encourage your feedback and contributions each month.
Isa Fernández, MPA
Bexar Area Agency on Aging
Alamo Area Council of Governments
(210) 362-5227 firstname.lastname@example.org
Southwest Outreach for Older People
Has Long-Awaited Grand Opening
The Southwest Outreach for Older People (SWOOP), had its grand opening on February 21, 2012 at the Elvira Cisneros Senior Center, located at 517 S.W. Military Drive; SWOOP offices are at the side entrance of the Cisneros Center.
The event was well-attended by SWOOP board members and program funders including the Alamo Area Council of Governments, Bexar Area Agency on Aging, the City of San Antonio, Bexar County, and the Wellmed Charitable Foundation.
A member of the Call A Ride for Seniors (CARS) coalition, SWOOP provides medical transportation to ambulatory seniors 60 years and older. The service area is between Roosevelt and Mission Avenue on the East and West Commerce on the North.
The service fills a long-standing gap in accessible door-to-door transportation on the Southwest side of town, and the response by the community is positive. SWOOP is in great need of volunteer drivers.
Profile of the Month
The Alamo Council of the Blind (ACB), the San Antonio Chapter of the American Council of the Blind was formed in 1986 as a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt nonprofit membership organization. ACB is comprised of persons who are blind or visually impaired, their family members and friends.
The philosophy of ACB is that independence, dignity, and equal quality of life for all persons who are blind or visually impaired is both a right and a responsibility. ACB advocates for and assists persons who are visually impaired to participate as full members within the community. ACB seeks to dispell myths and misperceptions about blindness and to educate the public about the achievements and capabilities of persons who are visually impaired. ACB also offers guidance to organizations, law makers, and government administrators on how to best meet the needs of constituents with visual impairments.
In addition, the ACB also:
- Conducts sensitivity training for VIA Metropolitan Transit and Star Shuttle drivers
- Provides academic scholarships for college or college-bound students who are blind or visually impaired
- Organizes a Braille Awareness Day each January to honor the genius of Louis Braille
- Organizes White Cane Safety Day on October 15.
Regular meetings are held the second Saturday of each month, with guest speakers speaking on a wide range of topics.
For more information, please call (210) 492-4420 or visit www.acbsatx.org
(Please note our AAATCI newsletter is available in All-Text format for blind persons by calling (210) 362-5227 or emailing email@example.com to request.)
AAATCI Subcommittees Lead
Local Accessibility Initiatives
Members of the Alamo Area Accessible Transportation Coalition Initiative (AAATCI) have formed five subcommittees to improve accessible transportation and mobility options for older adults and people with disabilities in the Alamo Region. The five subcommittees are:
1. ADA Sidewalk/Infrastructure Subcommittee -- formed to promote accessible sidewalks and other infrastructure.
2. Dialysis Transportation Study Subcommittee -- formed to research efficiency measures surrounding dialysis trips.
3. Rural-Urban Link Subcommittee -- formed to coordinate rural-urban transportation systems.
4. Sensitivity Training Subcommittee -- will focus on sensitivity of transportation providers to people with physical and mental disabilities.
5. Grant Research Subcommittee -- will research available grant opportunities for AAATCI members to apply as a coalition.
For more information or to become a subcommittee member, please contact Isa Fernández, MPA (210) 362-5227 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that subcommittees will report project updates and milestones at Quarterly AAATCI meetings. The next quarterly meeting will be on Thursday, April 19th from 9-11am at AACOG, 3rd floor. For more information please call (210) 362-5227.
| AARP State Survey of Livability Policies and Practices Highlights Aging in Place
As the older adult population grows, it is important to promote the proactive design of life-long communities that are accessible to all, pedestrian friendly, and universally designed.
The attached AARP report Aging in Place: A State Survey of Livability Policies and Practices details policies that are needed to help seniors remain in their homes for as long as possible. These policies include integrating land use in order to promote essential services closer to home, housing and transportation access that encourages use of alternative transit, and affordable, accessible housing.
The suggested policies and best practices detailed in the report support life-long households of individuals all ages and abilities -- Read Full Report.
For more information, please contact the AARP Public Policy Institute at (202) 434-3890.
|Best Practice: Community Builds
and Staffs Train Station
As a best practice to draw from, please read the following inspiring story of a Seattle community that has taken the helm at a local Amtrak station. Community members came together to build a small town train station and well as volunteered to staff it. And staff it they have - in the nearly 20 years since the station was built, volunteers have met every single train to help passengers.
|American Society on Aging Presentation Highlights Alamo Area
Bexar Area Agency on Aging (BAAA) Mobility Specialist Isa Fernández and University of Texas at San Antonio Department of Demography doctoral student Chun-lin Lin are planning to present their work at the American Society on Aging (ASA) national conference this Spring.
The two will present "Using Geographic Information System (GIS) to Promote Aging in Place through Integration of Formal and Informal Transportation Assets and Accessible Infrastructure" at the national conference held later this month.
The research demonstrates gaps in service and accessible infrastructure in San Antonio with implications for transportation providers, client stakeholders, city planners and infrastructure engineers charged with the task of accommodating an older population. This work considers aging in place and universal design standards when planning large scale projects that affect the community's ability to access needed services.
The collaboration started when Mr. Lin began a internship with BAAA in 2011 and has also resulted in work presented previously at the Texas Conference on Aging.
Permission to reproduce or reprint: Please feel free to forward this newsletter. However, if you wish to use any information marked "original" please contact
the owner of that information, or Isa Fernandez.
Contact Us: to submit "Profile of the Month" stories, current events, article suggestions, data to share, best practices and/or with any comments or questions: email@example.com or call (210)-362-5227.