Advocating For Transportation Systems Change
The State Independent Living Council and Independent Living Centers Push for Changes in Transportation
“Accessibility to transportation continues to be a significant issue for people living with disabilities,” said Executive Director of the California State Independent Living Council (SILC)
“Advocacy and leadership development are critical if things are going to change,” said Soto. “This is why we continually educate CALIF consumers and those we interact with on committees and commissions on the real challenges surrounding transportation for those living with disabilities.”
Within the last year, CALIF has served 461 consumers. The ILC educates and trains individuals on various transportation alternatives and how to access them as well as on the application and recertification process to use paratransit services.
“The trainings are often our first point of contact in creating stronger awareness and developing engaged advocates,” said Garcia. “Many of our consumers attend a 10-week leadership advocacy course to become certified advocates and part of the disability rights legacy. By organizing our consumers, they are prepared to attend public hearings and provide testimony relative to creating changes in the transportation systems.”
Both Garcia and Soto sit on various transportation councils to ensure the voice of people living with disabilities is very present. Soto is a member of the Metro Gateway Cities Service Council, which oversees planning and implementation of service within its area. Garcia served two years on the
For the Resources for Independence, Central Valley (RICV), which covers
“In the Central Valley, one of the biggest barriers for people with disabilities is the lack of service in rural areas between our major cities,” said
“RICV and consumer advocates are working with transit managers to address a number of concerns,” explained Zamora. “RICV has an executive staff member who recently led the local Disability Advocacy Commission, which has been successful in making recommendations to the local transit agency, Fresno Area Express, on needed improvements.”
Like CALIF, RICV organizes individuals living with disabilities to become active advocates. RICV’s Disability Advocacy Teams (DATs) partner with transit managers to create awareness and changes in the transportation systems. For example, in
The California State Independent Living Council is an independent state agency which, in cooperation with the California State Department of Rehabilitation, prepares and monitors the State Plan for Independent Living.
SOURCE California State Independent Living Council (SILC)