Access to reliable transportation is crucial to maintaining stable employment. People with disabilities are three times more likely to rely on public transportation services, underscoring the importance of dependable and comprehensive transit networks. But while transportation access supports day-to-day mobility, many people with disabilities still face barriers when they arrive at work. Inaccessible physical spaces and technology can inhibit the success of people with disabilities looking for meaningful employment. States are in a unique position to address transportation, physical access and workplace technology by developing tailored policy solutions, creating greater opportunity for people with disabilities looking for work.
State Policy Options
A bipartisan task force of legislative and executive officials convened in 2016 to create a policy framework for increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The task force identified the following policy options to increase transportation availability, workplace accessibility and create inclusive built environments for people with disabilities.
Transportation Accessibility and Availability
States are encouraged to ensure that transportation is widely available, reliable, affordable and accessible to people with disabilities in order to support access to the workplace.
- States are encouraged to adopt policies that prioritize transportation options that are reliable and accessible for individuals with disabilities, as well as alternative strategies that address and mitigate challenges for people with disabilities.
- States should encourage businesses to use government incentives and programs to offer shuttles and other transportation options for employees.
States can adopt policies that support accessibility in the workplace, particularly related to accessible information and communication technologies, or ICT, and assistive technologies. Steps states can take include:
- Encouraging employers to take steps to level the playing field for employees with disabilities by ensuring the adoption of accessible ICT technology and supporting the use of assistive technology including, but not limited to, personalized assistive technology.
- Elevating the importance of accessibility as a primary policy and program consideration in the design, development and procurement of technology systems.
- Ensuring higher education curricula for technology, engineering, design and architecture include principles of accessibility, universal design, and inclusive information and communication technologies.
- Creating procurement policies that ensure all resources, services, products and technologies acquired by state and local governments are fully accessible.
- Offering a competitive advantage to bidders who can show an implemented company accessibility policy related to their offerings and solutions.
States can enact policies that support worker access to the built environment, including housing, public transportation, infrastructure and physical design. Steps states can take include:
- Enactin policies that facilitate complete streets, livable communities, mixed-use development, transit-oriented development, shared mobility, mobility on demand, travel demand management and “Smart Cities” in order to reduce barriers to accessibility and promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in travel.
- Working with local governments, economic development interests, and metropolitan and rural planning organizations to encourage businesses and residential living facilities to locate in areas with access to transit.
- Enacting programs to provide assistance to households that include people with disabilities in making physical and technological modification