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The Link Between National Disability Employment Awareness Month and Transit

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), a time to recognize and celebrate the contributions of colleagues, friends, and families with disabilities. “Disability” covers a wide range of physical, cognitive, and behavioral conditions, and the level of impact a disability has on a person’s life can also vary greatly. One in four US adults has some disability, and a limit of mobility is the most common form of disability.

Many employers have developed accommodations and flexibility so that they can be more inclusive in their hiring practices and the workplace itself. Remote work is one accommodation that allows employees to work from  home and participate fully on a team. But most of us travel to work, and transportation can be one of the biggest barriers for people with disabilities to have active and productive lives. Driving is the assumption and the default option for most adults in the US, but most of us will outlive our ability to drive by seven to ten years, and some of us can’t or choose not to get a driver’s license. Other options are necessary.

Public transit is an attractive option for many commuters, and for employees with disabilities, it is often the only accessible option available. Passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, which prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity, led to major changes to public transit. Buses and trains now have wheelchair access and designated seating for people with disabilities. Transit agencies are funding accessibility retrofits to train stations that were built prior to ADA.

At Conduent, we are committed to providing an accessible, diverse workplace. In particular, we are proud to be a trusted partner providing accessible solutions to a number of US transit agencies. We provide stop announcements that are audible for visually impaired passengers and written for hearing impaired passengers through our Computer Aided Dispatch and Automatic Vehicle Location (CAD/AVL) solutions. We also have the ability to share wheelchair space and seat availability to agencies and end users, allowing passengers to make real-time decisions about trips based on how crowded the bus is.

For transit fare collection, we provide accessible website and payment solutions like the myTix mobile payment app we developed for New Jersey Transit. MyTix and all of our web-based solutions are designed to be accessible for people with physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities. We’re also in the process of installing the latest technology in accessible fare gates for Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA).