Just announced: West Seattle forum for transportation issues affecting people with disabilities

Happening tomorrow, but we didn’t get word until just now:

The Seattle Commission for People with Disabilities is having a transportation forum in West Seattle. This is part of a series of forums held in various Seattle neighborhoods. This is an open forum to discuss transportation issues impacting the disabled community in Seattle.

When: Wednesday, January 15th, 2014
Where: Seattle Public Library – Admiral Branch – 2306 42nd Ave SW
Time: 2:00 PM to 3:30PM
ASL interpreter provided

12 Replies to "Just announced: West Seattle forum for transportation issues affecting people with disabilities"

  • Sue January 14, 2014 (1:01 pm)

    So, is an assumption being made that if you’re disabled that you also don’t work and can attend a midafternoon meeting?

  • Diane January 14, 2014 (2:22 pm)

    Thank you so much for the notice; is that area of your story (in blue) really how they worded the notice? this commission seems to be very intentional with all their communications to educate the public about “People with Disabilities”, not “disabled community”; I have learned recently that the majority of People with Disabilities have one or more disabilities or impairments that impact our lives, but most are not “disabled” and most disabilities or impairments are invisible
    our standing-room-only overcrowded buses have caused particular hardships for riders with disabilities and seniors (almost no one ever voluntarily offers up their seats); for people with invisible impairments, it’s challenging in entirely different ways, having to ask the bus driver for a seat, enduring ridicule from riders who don’t understand that most disabilities are not visible; which I have addressed with the WSTC, and City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen and Chris Arkills; and look forward to this very important forum tomorrow

    • WSB January 14, 2014 (2:47 pm)

      If it’s in blue, it’s a direct quote, generally in writing (if it was from an interview, I usually would just put it in quote marks rather than the blue “blockquote”). I edit direct quotes only for spelling and punctuation. This was an announcement I received in writing. If you follow the link to the sponsoring agency/department, you can certainly provide feedback. I told them I was sorry not to have heard of this sooner; the person who e-mailed, Ronald Ramp, said he had just learned about WSB. – TR

  • WestofJunction January 14, 2014 (2:28 pm)

    I guess so. The transportation planning emphasis on bike lanes and rapid ride with stops spaced far apart really penalizes the disabled and elderly. It’s going to really be problemmatic when the bulk of the baby boomers are aged. Very, very short sighted.

  • Diane January 14, 2014 (2:33 pm)

    Sue, I will be there (because I am not yet working; looking for a job); and it’s a great point; the commission meetings are also within work hours; start at 4:30; it is true that most people with disabilities have jobs, or are at least trying to get jobs, so having these meetings during the typical work day, makes it basically inaccessible for those who have jobs; a bit ironic

  • Diane January 14, 2014 (2:54 pm)

    thanks TR; I looked all through their website prior to posting my question; I will ask whoever is there tomorrow

  • metrognome January 14, 2014 (3:36 pm)

    there are a couple of issues here.
    1) the phrase ‘disabled community’ is grammatically incorrect. ‘Disabled’ is an adjective, so ‘disabled community ‘ refers to a community that doesn’t function properly in one way or another. ‘Disability community’ would be more accurate.
    2) However, there is no ‘disability community’ per se as this implies a sameness between the needs of persons with various disabilities; nothing could be further from the truth. What deaf persons ‘need’ is very different from what someone with cerebral palsy needs, etc. Sometimes, there is a conflict between those needs (e.g. curb ramps for wheelchair users vs mobility needs of blind folks.)
    3) In many parts of society, ‘disabled’ is in fact defined as and inseparable from ‘unable to work’; most notably, Social Security, the VA and the insurance industry. Many year ago, my life insurance co informed me that I was no longer disabled as I had returned to work, despite the fact that I was (and still am) a quadriplegic. One effect of this is that people with disabilities are given cost discounts based on the assumption that they have a low income.
    4) There well are over 50 different federal definitions of ‘disability.’ There are 3 major definitions in transportation alone: 1 each for reduced bus fares, paratransit eligibility and disability parking permits.
    Seattle and WA state used to have well-deserved reputations as being in the forefront of creating communities that were accessible to persons with a variety of disabilities; this reputation has faded over time for a number of reasons. I welcome the city’s and the commission’s efforts to reach out to people with disabilities.
    p.s. as someone who used to schedule public meetings, I can tell you there is no way to win in the argument of day vs. evening meetings; there is no perfect time, day or location that will make everyone happy.

  • Mary Ann F. January 15, 2014 (9:10 am)

    Not only is this frustrating that the meeting is in the middle of the day but it is also at a site which is difficult to access via public transportation. My son, who is an advocate for people with disabilities, was all set to go to this meeting because he thought it would be at the Downtown Library. It would take him three buses and hours to get to the West Seattle library. Frustrating to him to say the least.

    • WSB January 15, 2014 (9:21 am)

      Mary Ann – It looks like this department/agency/etc. gets out to various parts of the city from time to time, and aside from the time concern voiced by others, this just happens to be the WS version. As noted in the story, we only just got word of this yesterday – the person at the city who sent it said he had only just heard about WSB (an entirely different issue, since this is our 7th year in business and we deal with multiple city departments/people pretty much daily). So I don’t know a lot about this department’s work but they do have a calendar of regular meetings (I’m sure forums are added closer to when they occur):
      Contact info is here: http://www.seattle.gov/disability/contact.htm

  • dsa January 15, 2014 (10:28 am)

    That’s a difficult location since their is next to no HC parking.

  • Diane January 15, 2014 (4:28 pm)

    just got out of this meeting; it was great turnout, considering–short notice, lack of HC parking, during workday
    we talked about all kinds of issues, solutions, and where to plan more forums like this the evening; and much more; very excited that we got notice (thanks TR), and look forward to working with this commission

  • West Seattle since 1979 January 17, 2014 (6:17 pm)

    Another issue is exiting from the back. I’m not really what you would call disabled, but I do have a sore knee that gets aggravated if I step off a high step or from the bus when it’s too far from the curb. I’m sure some of you have noticed that sometimes the buses can’t get the back door close to the curb.

    I usually try to sit near the front so I can get right off but today there wasn’t a seat there . When I did try to get off someone else was going towards the back to exit, and we had a traffic jam. I should have waited until the next stop but the bus was filling up and it would have been worse. Someone said to me that we are supposed to exit from the front.

Sorry, comment time is over.