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NCD Topical Overviews - Access to Transportation by People with Disabilities Illustrations of Implementation from the United States

Tuesday, August 2, 2005
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August 2, 2005

SCOPE AND PURPOSE:

This topic paper is part of a series of topic papers designed to provide brief background information on United States disability policy for use by the delegates in their deliberations on the United Nations Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities.

The ability to access transportation is a precondition to the full enjoyment of many human rights by people with disabilities. Inadequate transportation to places of work, education, healthcare, recreation, polling stations and countless other venues constitutes a significant barrier to the enjoyment of human rights by people with disabilities, and consequently their full participation and inclusion in our communities and societies. This fact is recognized in Draft Article 19 (Accessibility) of a proposed UN convention/treaty,1 which would require States to take appropriate measures to ensure that transportation is accessible to people with disabilities.

As governments and other actors undertake the drafting and implementation of this new human rights convention, it may be helpful to consider the experience of other countries in ensuring access to transportation by people with disabilities. This paper seeks to provide illustrations from the experience of the United States, and provides examples of legislative and other initiatives that have been undertaken to increase the accessibility of transportation. It is not the intent to argue that the approach adopted in the United States are the best or only way of ensuring access for people with disabilities, but instead to provide this information as a resource to those engaged in ultimately implementing the new convention.

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