Man standing in front of busWe're celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990! The ADA opens doors for people with disabilities trying to succeed in the workforce. Social Security's Ticket to Work Program is proud to recognize individuals who have found a path to employment, in part, thanks to the ADA.

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#ADAat30: Accessible Transportation: Get On the Road to Work

Oct 29, 2020

Man standing in front of busThe Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in all places that are open to the public, such as workplaces, schools and transportation. The goal of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

The law is divided into five titles (or sections) that relate to different areas of public life. Today, we will examine Title II of the ADA, which protects people with disabilities from discrimination in public transportation and guarantees them equal access to public transportation systems, including buses, trains, subways, taxis and paratransit. Private transportation providers like airport and hotel shuttles, private buses and taxis must also meet ADA requirements.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, nearly 25 million people have a travel-limiting disability, and 3.6 million Americans (about 1%) with travel-limiting disabilities do not leave their homes because of their disability. Travel is often essential to employment, and people with travel-limiting disabilities are less likely to have jobs.

Before the ADA, using public transportation was impossible for many people with disabilities. As the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center points out, the ADA gave more independence to travelers with disabilities. ADA compliance on ground transportation now requires, for example:

  • Wheelchair lifts and other equipment, such as ramps and devices to secure wheelchairs on board
  • Ramps to clear the gap on subways
  • Adequate time to board and exit from vehicles
  • The ability for service animals to accompany riders with disabilities in transit vehicles and facilities
  • Route information and signage for riders both at public stations and online in formats that are accessible for persons with different types of disabilities (e.g., information in large print, braille or alternative and electronic formats).
  • Transit facilities with clear pathways, curb cuts, signage and elevators or ramps
  • Priority seating and signs designating seating for passengers with disabilities
  • Personnel trained to operate vehicles and equipment safely, to assist passengers with disabilities in a respectful and courteous way and to recognize that individuals with disabilities have different abilities and require different types of assistance

While there is still a long way to go, many advances have been made in accessible transportation. This progress gives people with disabilities the opportunity to work, engage and contribute to their communities. As one transportation accessibility advocate observed, "Mobility is freedom itself, period!"

Are you ready to get started on your career path?

There's a lot to consider when job searching and it can be tough trying to do everything on your own. Social Security's Ticket to Work (Ticket) Program supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits (SSI or SSDI) and want to work. The Ticket Program is free and voluntary. It helps people with disabilities move toward financial independence and connects them with the services and support they need to succeed in the workforce.

If you qualify, Ticket Program service providers can help you understand your rights under the ADA and inform you about reasonable accommodations that may help you during your job search or on the job. Some may also be able to connect you with local organizations that can assist with your transportation needs related to work.

Learn more

To learn more about the Ticket Program, call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket Program Find Help tool.

To learn more about the Ticket Program, call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket Program Find Help tool.

Receive Ticket Program Texts

If you're interested in receiving text messages from the Ticket Program, please text TICKET to 474747. Standard messaging rates may apply. We'll send updates from our blog, identify steps on the path to employment and more. We hope you'll find this new way to stay in touch helpful. You can opt out at any time.

If you're interested in receiving text messages from the Ticket Program, please text TICKET to 474747. Standard messaging rates may apply. We'll send updates from our blog, identify steps on the path to employment and more. We hope you'll find this new way to stay in touch helpful. You can opt out at any time.

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  Opt in to receive information about the Ticket program via text. Text the word "TICKET" to 474747