Our vision for accessible transportation in the Alamo Area is to ensure 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 August edition of the Alamo Area Accessible Transportation & Mobility Newsletter, a forum to inform our community about accessible transportation and mobility issues and discuss opportunities for improvements.
This month's topics:
We encourage your contributions and feedback each month! Please forward any information you would like to share.
Isa Fernández, MPA
Bexar Area Agency on Aging
Alamo Area Council of Governments
(210) 362-5227 firstname.lastname@example.org
Proposed Amendments Impact Use of
Medical Transportation Advance Funding
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) proposes to amend 1 TAC §§380.101, 380.203, 380.205, 380.209, and 380.301 related to the Medical Transportation Program (MTP). HHSC currently arranges and authorizes non-emergency medical transportation services for Medicaid clients and those served by the Children with Special Health Care Needs Services program (CSHCN) and the Transportation for Indigent Care Patients program (TICP).
The proposal would eliminate the use of advanced funds in MTP as well as uses that contract lodging, meal services, and reimbursement for verified mileage expenses for all clients.
The changes are intended to establish systems of accountability, with tighter financial controls, while maintaining access to care for clients.
RULE DEVELOPMENT SCHEDULE:
August 9, 2012 Present to Medical Care Advisory Committee
September 13, 2012 Present to HHSC Council
October 19, 2012 Publish proposed rule in Texas Register
December 21, 2012 Publish adopted rule in Texas Register
January 1, 2013 Rule effective date
To read about the proposed amendment in more detail, click here.
Meeting the Transportation Needs of People with Disabilities
Following a Disaster
The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) recognizes that the circumstances of any given disaster will determine the ability to continue or restart public transportation services, which is particularly concerning for people with disabilities. Principles and legal obligations apply in disaster recovery situations. To address this, the Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has provided guidance to public transportation and emergency management agencies on addressing the needs of people with disabilities following a disaster. Major points include:
- Vehicles used to transport individuals during a disaster and re-established fixed route service should be accessible to individuals with disabilities, including those with wheelchairs and service animals with their owners to the extent possible.
- Specialized services such as Para-transit should not be viewed as the sole option for accessible transportation. In instances when some vehicles are inaccessible, individuals with disabilities should receive priority for accessible vehicles.
- A plan to re-establish support networks may include registering for ADA complementary Para-transit. The eligibility process for evacuees who are permanently relocated should be expedited so service is provided to any evacuee who requests it, even if the individual does not have identification or documentation showing that he/she was eligible at home.
- Individuals with disabilities may need to learn how to use the transit system and travel training can help build their familiarity.
USDOT recommends that ccommunities engage in pre-disaster planning to meet the transportation needs of individuals with disabilities and others with access needs. Individuals with disabilities should be involved in the planning for re-establishment of transportation services during the long-term recovery of the community. The planning process should consider where housing is created, where public transportation is established, and where people with disabilities can live most independently post-disaster.
Communities should also analyze local census data and service delivery data to better understand the composition of the local and regional population. The analysis should ensure that the needs of individuals with disabilities, and others who may be reliant on public transportation such as those who are limited English proficient (LEP populations) who may require translation services and/or printed instructions, the elderly, low-income, minority and other populations.
For more details on these recommendations, please read the Federal Transit Administration guide: Disaster Response and Recovery Resource for Transit Agencies that provides additional information for transit agencies and communities on planning for and meeting the needs of people with disabilities following a disaster. The report is available at http://go.usa.gov/N8U.
For more information on regulatory provisions underlying this guidance, please review 49 CFR part 37, Transportation Services for Individuals with Disabilities, which can be accessed here.
ADA Rights for Returning Service Members with Disabilities
As we celebrate the 22nd Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act(enacted July 26, 1990), the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Disability Rights Section has released the ADA Know Your Rights: Returning Service Members with Disabilities. The guide is intended to help service members with disabilities become aware of their rights. Key highlights are:
- Employment - reasonable accommodations must be made to eliminate any barriers and also include information on how to make a complaint to the Job Accommodation Network.
- Customer Access - all businesses providing goods and services to the public (even small businesses with staff of 1-2) must comply with reasonable accommodations. This can include ensuring accessible design features such as ramps, curb cuts, grab bars, etc.
- Civic Life - city/county employers with 50 or more staff must have a ADA Coordinator on staff available to help employees and the public resolve accessibility issues.
- Federal Laws - other federally designated rights include housing, air travel, telecommunications, federal programs such as the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act.
- Benefit Programs - Independent Living Centers, State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies.
- Helpful Publications - the guide includes links to publications on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, traumatic brain injuries, and guides on going back to school.
For more information and to read the guide in its entirety: click here.
Focus On: Distracted Driving
Technological advances in the last 20 years have led to a perceived need to be connected to work and home at all times, with people trying to do more in less time.
Research shows that drivers who talk on a cell phone while driving are four times more likely to be involved in a crash. Text messaging also creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving when not distracted. In 2010, 3092 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver and an estimated additional 416,000 were injured in accidents involving a distracted driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 3,000 fatal traffic accidents nationwide last year were the result of distracted driving. Using a cell phone while driving delays reaction time the equivalent as having a blood alcohol concentration of .08, the legal limit.
These statistics are in addition to the staggeringly high number of accidents overall which take approximately 33,808 lives a year (U.S. Census, 2009).
Other actions classified as distracted driving include:
* Eating and drinking
* An outside person, object or event: animal, a crash scene, or road construction
* Adjusting radio, CD player, mp3, or GPS device
* Other occupant in vehicle: talking, arguing, or assisting a child
* A moving object in vehicle: pet, insect, or other object
* Smoking related: reaching, lighting, smoking, or dropping
* Cell phone related: dialing, talking, listening, texting, reaching
* Other items in vehicle: reaching for bottle, purse, glasses, etc.
* Using a integral device: adjusting mirrors, lights, or seatbelt
* Other distractions: medical issues, reading a map or road sign, sleepy, or fatigue
* Inattentive or lost in thought
Thirty-eight states have laws restricting or outlawing the use of electronic devices while driving, Texas is not one of them.
To learn more about distracted driving and to sign the pledge to take care of business - essential and nonessential - away from the steering wheel:click here.
AACOG Expands Mobility Management Program
The Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) is proud to announce the hiring of Ms. Caroline Mays as Bexar Area Agency on Aging Mobility Manager.
Ms. Mays brings to the position over 10 years of transportation planning experience including Human Services Transportation and Transit Planning. Prior to joining AACOG in August 2012, Ms. Mays worked as a Transit Planner in New York and with the Atlanta Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) as a Transportation Planner.
Ms. Mays will be responsible for managing the AACOG's Mobility Management Program. Ms. Mays will serve as the subject matter expert on mobility issues facing transportation disadvantaged populations, including seniors, people with disabilities, and veterans and military families; Coordinate a full range of mobility services in the region to meet the transportation needs of Human Services population groups; Educate, organize and collaborate with government, nonprofit and for profit organizations, consumers, advocates, and other stakeholders to develop a vision and goals to improve mobility and transportation across the region; Build strategic partnerships and alliances among multiple transportation providers in the region with the goal of expanding the range of available and viable transportation options to our community and managing community-wide transportation resources; Develop methods to effectively communicate transportation options available to Human Services population groups. Ms. Mays will also be managing the newly awarded Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative (VTCLI) grant project from the Federal Transit Administration.
Ms. Mays holds a Bachelors degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Waterloo, Canada and a Master Degree of Science in Planning from the University of Toronto, Canada. Ms. Mays is also an active member of several professional organizations including the American Planning Association (APA), the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), and the Transportation Research Board (TRB).
AACOG looks forward to her contribution to the Bexar Area Agency on Aging Mobility Management Program in addressing mobility challenges of the region's seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, and military families. Ms Mays can be reached at email@example.com
Support Specialized Transportation:
Join SCOOP for Anchor's Aweigh Fundraiser, Friday, September 21!
Join Southeast Community Outreach for Older People (SCOOP) (a Call A Ride for Seniors (CARS) member) for their seventeenth annual fundraiser to help support the essential services provided to seniors in Southeast San Antonio.
SCOOP fundraiser will include entertainment, a sit down luncheon, a silent auction, raffle drawings, cake sale, and more.
Your tax-deductible donation helps to provide:
- Transportation to medical appointments, the grocery store, and community events
- Referrals to other needed services
- Grocery Delivery
- Telephone Reassurance - twice a month calls to clients
- Handy Home Helper for minor items
- Monthly birthday luncheons for clients at Luby's
- Christmas gifts to isolated clients
- Home and Hospital Visits
DATE: Friday, September 21st
TIME: 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
PLACE: Holy Name Catholic Church Activity Center,
6618 Fairlawn Avenue
Tickets are $ 25.00 pre- sale and $30.00 at the door if tickets are available. To RSVP please call (210) 359-6678.
For information on SCOOP services, to sign up to become a volunteer, or register for services, please call (210) 359-6678 or visit www.callarideforseniors.org.
Contact Us: to submit stories, current events, article suggestions, data to share, best practices and/or with any comments or questions: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (210)-362-5227.