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Learning from the Travel Experiences of Persons with Disabilities

Posted: May 6, 2024

Research at the University of Colorado Denver has the potential to help practitioners in the transportation sector reassess how they plan, design, and implement infrastructure for individuals of all abilities, including children, older adults, and people with disabilities. The researchers conducted interviews with individuals who self-identified as having a disability and educators at a local school for children and adults with disabilities to understand what, when, and how infrastructure elements limit mobility.

The results suggest that the built environment, particularly transportation infrastructure, consistently fails people with disabilities in the way it is designed and in how programs are conducted. Those interviewed identified several themes regarding how infrastructure affects their transportation experiences and mode choices, including failures related to sidewalks (or lack thereof); intersections; maintenance; transit communication and services; paratransit logistics and scheduling; transit facility designs; street furniture, emerging technology, and temporary route closures; and involvement of people with disabilities in planning, design, and decision making.

Manish Shirgaokar, Ph.D.
University of Colorado Denver

Learning from the Travel Experiences of Persons with Disabilities: Investigating Navigation Challenges Posed by Infrastructure

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