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The Source for Public Transportation News and Analysis April 8, 2011
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DOT Reaches Out to Disability Community

As part of an outreach effort to provide better access to transportation services for persons with disabilities, DOT officials met April 1 with representatives from the disability and transportation communities to discuss President Obama’s 2012 budget, answer questions, and get feedback.

Organizations participating in the event included APTA; Easter Seals Project ACTION; the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging; the National Council on Independent Living; and the National Organization on Disability. DOT employees included representatives from the Office of the Secretary; Federal Transit Administration; Office of the Inspector General; Federal Highway Administration; and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“At the Department of Transportation, we believe that America’s planes, trains, buses, and sidewalks are more than ways of getting from one place to another. They’re the avenues by which people connect with opportunities to achieve their dreams,” DOT Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement. “That’s why we’re laser-focused on improving everyone’s access to transportation systems.”

LaHood also referred to DOT’s proposed Transportation Leadership Awards: a $32 billion competitive grant program that would encourage states and planning organizations to develop innovative transportation systems that serve the needs of all citizens, based on merit rather than politics.

“The point is clear: all Americans deserve unfettered access to the transportation systems this great nation offers,” the secretary added. “We all deserve an equal chance to pursue employment, education, and essential services—and mobility is crucial for all of these.”

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