How to Make Transportation Accessible for Disabled People?

The idea of travel is often exciting to many people. But for the travel to be comfortable, you must have easy access to information. For instance, having prior information about wait times, stops, and so on can make the entire experience easy and hassle-free. While most people have easy access to this information, people with disabilities, whether sensory or motor, often find it difficult to get reliable information about transportation during their journeys. This can be improved with disabled transport services and more inclusive and accessible transport information like:

Easy-to-Use Trip Planners to Prepare for the Trip

Any individual with a disability has to prepare a little extra for any trip to be successful. Until recent years, most trip planning depended on maps and schedules written on paper. While some people still use these, they are not very disabled-friendly. For instance, a person with a visual impairment cannot read or understand maps. While many companies today offer digital alternatives, they can be made more accessible to disabled people by the following:

  • The app should follow digital accessibility standards.
  • The trip planner’s options should include accessibility criteria like level access, elevators, and escalators.
  • Stations and stops should be easy to find on the maps with their actual address. This way, people who cannot follow maps can enter the address in a GPS device and follow the audio instructions.

Materials Suitable for Different Disabilities

Despite digital technology, many transportation passengers may prefer physical materials for information. To make this material more accessible, it must be created keeping different disabilities in mind. For instance, simple maps could have large-font timetables or information in braille to help people with vision problems or impairments. Similarly, in the case of cities with underground transport, certain maps could have information about only above-the-ground transport networks to help people with claustrophobia.

Audio and Visual Travel Information Points

Every step of any journey, whether arrivals, departures or connections, has a stop. And people need transport information at each of these stops. Common examples of traveler information points include illuminated signs at train stations or bus stops to notify passengers about the waiting times and possible delays and disruptions. While these signs can give out vital information to travelers, they are of no use to a visually impaired person. However, this information can become accessible to a visually impaired person if it is also presented in an audio format.

Written and Audio Disruption Announcements

Transportation passengers could experience various disruptions like strikes, breakdowns, re-routing of lines, or changes in platforms. While some of these could be minor for most people, people with disabilities could find it difficult to understand and navigate these disruptions. In most cases, passengers are informed about these disruptions through a PA system located at the stop or in the vehicles. However, deaf people will understand there is a disruption only when they notice the changes in passenger movement around them. This entire situation can get even more stressful when they realize what is happening, but it is too late for them to take action. Therefore, it becomes important to include visual announcements so that even deaf people can know about the disruption with the other passengers. These announcements can be made on large screens or monitors installed at the stops and in the vehicle.

Audio and Visual Announcements of Upcoming Stops

Announcements about upcoming stops are crucial for all passengers in all public transportation. They become even more important if the passengers are not familiar with the route they are traveling. In most places, this information is shown on an illuminated panel inside the vehicle. But to make it more accessible, these announcements should be made orally as well. Sometimes, people can also be sent alerts on their smartphones through apps to inform them about the upcoming stop.

Innovating Apps on the Smartphone to Connect Passengers

Almost everyone uses a smartphone these days. Smartphones have opened up new possibilities to make travel more inclusive and accessible to people with disabilities. Many applications can help connect a disabled person with a voluntary helper. Whether you are visually impaired or cannot move around easily, you can request a helper to guide you. These apps not only help people with disabilities or reduced mobility but can also benefit senior citizens.

The addition of accessible transportation information can make travel easy for people with different types of disabilities. Handicapped transportation services can go a long way in enhancing travel experiences. You can learn more about handicapped transport services and how they are beneficial at ACC Medlink.