Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Easter Seals Conducts Environmental Scan for New Project Funded by the Administration for Community Living

By Whitney E. Gray

Easter Seals, the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) and the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) have begun work on a three-year project titled Strengthening Inclusive Transportation Partnerships to Promote Community Living. The goal of this research and demonstration program is to improve the engagement of people with disabilities and older adults in the planning and implementation of coordinated transportation systems. Launched on October 1, 2012 with CTAA as the lead, the project is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living (ACL).

Photo of six individuals holding a discussion around a map
Photo Credit: www.pedbikeimages.org / Dan Burden
The first phase of the project was an environmental scan to learn about the conditions and factors that encourage the engagement of people with disabilities and older adults in the planning and implementation of coordinated transportation systems. Led by Judy Shanley, director of student engagement and mobility management at Easter Seals, the scan will help identify effective practices that other organizations and coordinated transportation systems can replicate.  The scan involved interviews with program representatives including people with disabilities and older adults, from both human services and transportation organizations involved in coordinated transportation systems. The Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL), the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), the Arc, the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) supported the environmental scan by assisting to conceptualize the environmental scan design, conducting interviews, and analyzing findings.  

Easter Seals will also be involved in other phases of the Strengthening Inclusive Transportation Partnerships to Promote Community Living, including through creating a knowledge sharing network and small grants demonstration program. For more information on the scan or project, please contact Judy Shanley. Or for more information on inclusive transportation planning, download or order ESPA’s booklet Effective Transportation Advisory Committees: Creating a Group that Reflects All Community Voices or the information brief Including People with Disabilities in Coordinated Plans.

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