Posted by Jennifer Dexter, guest contributor
On Wednesday, August 31st, the White House held an event in the Rose Garden where the President asked Congress to protect critical jobs and invest in our national transportation infrastructure by passing an extension of transportation legislation. The legislation that authorizes almost all highway and transit programs expires on September 30th, 2011. The current legislation is working under a series of short term extensions that allows for the continued operation of many programs and projects. If Congress does not act to extend the authorization, these programs and projects will halt. The legislation includes transit programs that enable independent living for people with disabilities including paratransit, general public transit, other transportation modes, projects that increase the accessibility of pedestrian environments, and transportation coalition building projects that make it easier for communities to coordinate various federal funding streams for transportation services that serve people with disabilities and older adults. The legislation also includes technical assistance centers and research efforts that support the enhancement of multi-modal accessibility at the local, state and federal level. The President noted the strong connection between jobs and critical transportation infrastructure projects. Easter Seals was honored to be present at this event and to work closely with Congress and the Administration to ensure that the needs of people with disabilities and older adults continue to be addressed in transportation legislation.