Transportation continues to be a barrier for older adults and people with disabilities in rural communities. In response, Easterseals designed the Accessible Transportation Community Initiative to increase options for independent mobility in several communities nationwide. The initiative will address the accessible transportation needs of people who rely on public transportation and will begin in selected rural communities in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, Montana and Alaska.
When driving is not a viable option for independent mobility, people tend to shrink their world to their homes, relying on family and friends when travel is necessary, according to Easterseals officials. Often routine activities such as going to the grocery store or a doctor's appointment go neglected due to the absence of readily available transportation solutions. The Margaret A. Cargill Foundation (MACF) awarded Easterseals with a grant of $1.2 million in order to make transportation more accessible in rural communities.
With this grant, Easterseals will build a coalition in each of these communities and provide webinars, trainings, technical support, contact information, resources and much more. Through building a strong coalition of stakeholders, each community will begin to discover that solutions shared across agencies will help individuals and organizations achieve what one agency alone could not. As a result, mobility options will be made available to alleviate the difficulty people with disabilities and older adults have in moving around their community.
"The innovative solutions developed through this initiative are vital to older adults and people with disabilities," said Randy Rutta, president/CEO of Easterseals. "Transportation remains an enormous challenge and our ultimate goal is to build accessible communities for all."
Communities interested in applying for an Accessible Transportation Community Initiative grant, should visit www.projectaction.com or contact Donna Smith, Senior Director, Easterseals Project Action Consulting at email@example.com.