By: Kristen Salkas
Transportation is a hot topic for people with disabilities. People with disabilities often have problems getting around their communities, getting to medical appointments, jobs, school, and to social events. A study done by the Harris Interactive in 2010 reported that 34% of people with disabilities said they had problems getting around, while only 16% of non-disabled people said the same. Latinxs with disabilities often have even more problems getting around. In addition to accessibility barriers, they may not be able to access transportation information if it’s not in their preferred language, and some forms of transportation are not compatible with Latinxs’ cultural preferences. However, we don’t really know a lot about the transportation-related barriers that Latinxs with disabilities experience because there simply isn’t enough research on it!
Latinxs with disabilities experience many of the same barriers to getting around as other people with disabilities. They may not drive or have access to an accessible car. They may not be able to use public transit when it is not accessible. They also may have to rely on getting a ride from others or use a ride share service. The good news is that transit access for people with disabilities is improving! The ADA has done a lot to ensure that more transportation vehicles are accessible and new transportation programs are being created for people with disabilities to increase their community access.
Latinxs with disabilities experience many of the same barriers to getting around as other people of color. People of color, even those without disabilities, report more barriers to getting around compared to whites, and they report relying on public transportation at higher rates. Immigrants in particular experience some unique transportation patterns compared to people born in the US. ). When immigrants first arrive to the US, they tend to rely primarily on public transportation to get around. This is the most economical transportation option, and it usually compliments their choice to live in urban areas near people that share their culture. The longer they live in the US, the more likely they are to begin driving as their primary mode of transportation.
Cultural factors may also affect transit choices. For example, attitudes and beliefs about transportation may influence Latinxs with disabilities’ preference for public transit, getting a ride from a family member, and using more communal modes of transportation. Economic factors might influence these choices as well. Transportation services that incorporate Latinx culture’s emphasis on community and interconnectedness can be a facilitator to getting around. Similarly, providing information about transportation options in languages other than English would also facilitate transportation access, but this is all speculation, as very little research has been done on these topics.
Since there isn’t a lot of research on Latinxs with disabilities and transportation, I want to encourage Latinxs with disabilities to get involved in transportation research! Make your voices heard so that researchers, policymakers, and clinicians can better serve you!
Below is a link to a national survey on transportation. The survey is for people with disabilities and it asks about the ways that they get around. There is an option to take the survey in Spanish. If you are interested, please participate! Thank you!
Leave a Reply.
Members of CNLD regularly write posts, though we accept posts from our audience!