My name is Linda Miller and I’m an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Certifier in the RTA’s Mobility Services Department.
The RTA manages the ADA paratransit certification program, which determines eligibility for the ADA paratransit service operated by Pace throughout our region’s ADA service area. ADA Paratransit service is an advanced reservation, shared ride, origin-to-destination service for persons who are unable to use the CTA or Pace systems for some or all of their trips because of a disability or health condition. The RTA operates two ADA paratransit certification interview and assessment sites in the RTA region and processes about 18,000 ADA paratransit applications and recertifications each year.
I’ve been working as a certifier at the RTA for the last four years, determining a customer’s eligibility for ADA services.
I am pleased to share in the celebration of the 26th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Act, passed on July 26, 1990 by President George H. W. Bush, guarantees equal opportunity for people with disabilities, in public accommodations, commercial facilities, employment, transportation, state and local government service and communications.
This passage is critical to the disabled community because it means people like me can move about our lives with confidence and independence. I am in a wheelchair due to a childhood illness and because of my disability, there are many things that I would not be able to do had it not been for the passage of this Act.
For instance, I am gainfully employed, working in downtown Chicago because the office building where I work has an elevator; my workplace has accessible doors to accommodate my wheelchair and I use paratransit service to get to and from work safely. As an ADA certifier, I process hundreds of applications a month, certifying as many as 200 people a month, to determine their eligibility for use of ADA paratransit services. I field applications, paying close attention to the customer’s physical and mental capacity. This helps me to determine if they are good candidate for paratransit, fixed-route services or a combination of both.
Because of this Act, the RTA is able to offer this service, among others, to ensure that riders with disabilities in our region have safe and convenient access to transit. I am proud to be part of an organization that provides so many services for riders with disabilities. It empowers us to be able to move around our region with convenience and ease.
You can learn more about the many programs we offer for people with disabilities by visiting www.RTAChicago.org.
Regional Transportation Authority