Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

My Experience. My Perspective. Transportation to Work Presents Problems: Career Enthusiasts with Disabilities Might Have Bigger Issues Getting to a Job Than Finding a Job

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

My Experience. My Perspective. Transportation to Work Presents Problems: Career Enthusiasts with Disabilities Might Have Bigger Issues Getting to a Job Than Finding a Job

Article excerpt

It is often natural in life for people to become suspicious or question why they were born in the first place. This usually happens as a result of a failed relationship, the loss of a job, or a traumatic accident. However, all these occurrences have something in common in that eventually those people will move on or be healed. Therefore, there is always hope in these situations, especially if they were able-bodied to begin with.

But what if you are a person with a permanent disability? There may need to be additional effort made in order to make life meaningful. Time will not remove the many obstacles life has to offer. For instance, many children grow up believing that by the age of 15 or 16 they will go for their driver's test, pass, and use a vehicle as a means of transportation in their future occupation.

But that is not necessarily true for a person with a disability. Take my life, for instance. I had a brain injury when I was nine years old, resulting in a month-long coma and a year and a half of rehabilitation. I came out with a permanent physical and learning disability. Fortunately, it did not turn out to be so bad as I went back to sixth grade after a long hiatus. I was thankful because I was able to use a bus that had a wheelchair lift. So, for that time period, hope was restored.

After years of taking an accessible bus to school and back, I decided to go to college and live on campus. Fortunately, my insurance paid for a motorized wheelchair, and the campus I lived on was fairly small so I had a great time going to class. Life was pretty easy at the time, but to my surprise, things started to unravel from then on.

Graduation signaled its own set of problems. Work was my number one priority. I was 22 years old at the time, and my future was going to be filled with a whole lot of work. The biggest problem was not the lack of jobs for a recent graduate who had very little experience, because I knew that something would eventually open up. But what seemed to be the biggest issue was transportation. I lived in Monmouth County in New Jersey, and I was a young adult so I had a big need for independence.

At the beginning of my post-college and pre-job life, it took me about a month and a half to find a job. The only thing left for me to ponder once I found a job was how to get to the job. I knew my parents would be willing to drive me, but I knew they had jobs also. It would be extremely difficult to coordinate their jobs with my job. There were bound to be some awkward waiting periods as we coordinated this successfully. Also, the last thing I would want is to rely on my parents to get to work, which would run contrary to my need for independence. Unfortunately, for a time, hitching a ride with Mom or Dad was the scenario that worked best as we looked into the options that my home state of New Jersey had to offer.

My search into transportation options began with the Web site www.njfindaride.org, which was funded by Medicare and Medicaid for the purpose of providing accessible transportation options for people with disabilities. The New Jersey Department of Human Services is responsible for this Web site. After browsing this site to learn about the various transportation options that New Jersey offers, I found the attractive service called Access Link, which is meant for people who cannot use the traditional buses to get to their destinations. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.