Administration for Community Living
ACL supports the development of convenient, affordable, and accessible transportation options that enable people with disabilities and older adults to travel to work, volunteer, spend time with family and friends, and enjoy entertainment, recreational and religious activities. As the nation’s aging population continues to rise, the provision of safe and accessible transportation options remains a top concern of people with disabilities, older adults, caregivers and the communities where they live.
Transportation Research & Demonstration Program
In 2017, ACL developed and awarded a new cooperative agreement, “Strengthening Coordinated Transportation Systems for People with Disabilities and Older Adults.”
Purpose of the Program
The purpose of this program is to identify proven models and approaches that can be used by states and communities to empower people with disabilities and older adults to be actively involved in the design and implementation of coordinated transportation systems in ways that successfully make those systems responsive to the needs of these populations.
Visit the project site (www.acltoolkit.com). Transit Planning 4 All, sponsored by the Administration for Community Living, is an inclusive and coordinated transportation-planning project that has funded a series of pilot projects across the nation, each seeking to increase inclusion in transportation planning and services for people with disabilities and older adults. The website provides information on each of the demonstration programs along with tools that communities can use to initiate or strengthen their inclusive planning programs.
To promote sustainability, the project has formed a national participant advisory committee called the Community of Practice (CoP) which brings together a group of Transit Planning 4 All former and current grantees to share solutions and strategies for inclusive transportation planning. CoP has three distinct traits: DOMAIN: An area of shared interest; PRACTICE: A shared body of knowledge, experiences, and techniques; COMMUNITY: A self-selected group of individuals who care enough about the topic to participate in regular interactions. For more information visit the project site (www.scaledagileframework.com/communities-of-practice/).
Objectives of the Program
ACL, in collaboration with the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) of Washington, DC, along with the National Association of Area Agencies for Aging, and Westat, work to meet the following objectives:
- Establish expanded partnerships with key national organizations and individuals with expertise in planning and developing coordinated transportation systems and with demonstrated experience empowering people with disabilities and older adults to improve systems;
- Maximized consumer input and engagement with people with disabilities, older adults, and caregivers. Those who do not drive and are dependent on transportation systems and programs to engage in community living including working, attending school/college, shopping, participating in social engagements, keeping health care appointments, and other activities;
- Develop a national knowledge sharing network of local/regional/state model projects and national experts to serve as a resource for communities interested in replicating best practices and testing new approaches to achieve the goals of this project;
- Design and commence implementation of a “small grants” demonstration program to community organizations. The purpose is to test the replication of proven best practices as well as new models and approaches to successfully empower people with disabilities and older adults to be actively involved in the planning and implementation of coordinated transportation systems;
- Develop a detailed evaluation program to track and measure the progress and success of demonstration projects; and
- Complete a review of the demonstration projects and disseminate information about best practices.
Between 2017 and 2019, the project has supported community projects to involve people with disabilities and older adults in the development and/or ongoing operation of community transportation systems. A total of 13 projects across the U.S. included seniors and people with disabilities in planning and implementing accessible transportation services in their communities.
In April 2019, up to eight new demonstration projects will be funded to build on the work by supporting inclusive planning grants.
ACL collaborates with FTA/DOT by serving on the Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility (CCAM). One of the goals of the council is to promote interagency cooperation and the establishment of appropriate mechanisms to minimize duplication and overlap of federal programs and services so that transportation disadvantage persons have access to more transportation services. In reference to transportation in rural areas, CCAM is looking at ways to improve transportation through cost sharing which would lead to increased availability, enhanced efficiency, and improved accessibility. CCAM has drafted recommendations for federal Agencies and Congress to take action as part of the FAST Act requirements. Visit CCAM (www.transit.dot.gov/ccam/about).
The National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (nadtc) is a program of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) administered by Easterseals and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) with guidance from the Administration for Community Living. Nadtc goal is to promote the availability and accessibility of transportation options for older adults, people with disabilities and caregivers. Visit nadtc (www.nadtc.org/).