I recently took my son to a meeting of the Transportation Workgroup for the Florida Developmental Disability Council. Thomas (TJ) sits on that workgroup. Before the meeting started in my talks with one of the other workgroup members they made the comment “If I cannot get there it is not real.” She was relating a statement that one of the FDDC members had made some time ago.
That simple statement hit home with me. It was insightful, on target and right on point. If I cannot get there it is not real.
Over 6 million person with disabilities have problems finding adequate transportation. Statistics also show that as many as 1.9 million persons with disabilities almost never leave their homes because of transportation issues.
Transportation is a major issue and a major problem for those with disabilities.
For example, a job opens up that would be a good fit for a person with a disability. This is a real job paying a real wage. However, if the person qualified for the job has no way to get there then – If I cannot get there it is not real.
New services are being offered or a new program opens up in a town or city that would benefit those with disabilities. This program will enhance and enrich their lives. – If I cannot get there it is not real.
A movie has just been released that this person really wants to see. However, there is no transportation available – no accessible transportation that they can use to go see the movie. If I cannot get there it is not real.
Those who do not have transportation issues cannot understand what is like to live without adequate available transportation. Those who do not have transportation issues see the world in a completely different way.
However, for those who have little or no transportation options – the world is not real. If I cannot get there it is not real.
Solutions are available. However, they involve investing in public transportation. In areas where the population cannot support that option – then an investment in allowing those with disabilities to have access to private transportation options needs to be established.
Realize that 1.9 million people do not leave their homes because they lack transportation options – Unacceptable. 1.9 million people are denied access to a real life and the real world because of funding for transportation – Unacceptable.
The world is real. Opportunities to enjoy life are real. Jobs are real. Restaurants and movie theatres are rea.
However – If I cannot get there it is not real. So keep squeaking those wheels.