This month the RTA is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA transformed society and provided opportunities for Americans with disabilities to more fully participate in all areas of life. While barriers to equal opportunity remain, the RTA is committed to promoting travel independence and empowering customers with mobility options to move around Northeastern Illinois.
The RTA offers several mobility programs to assist people with disabilities and older adults in accessing their transit options, including the Travel Training program. Although the Travel Training program is on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, it normally provides free, one-on-one training with individuals to teach them about the public transit system, accessibility features, payment options, take practice trips, and more.
The RTA has trained hundreds of individuals in the region, including Chicago resident Rena Citron’s 29-year-old son Shalom, who has a developmental disability. Shalom wanted to learn to use the transit system to get to his job.
An RTA Travel Trainer met Shalom and facilitated a session that showed him how to take buses and trains to get to work and to his brother’s apartment safely. “It was a wonderful experience for him,” Rena said. “Being able to travel on his own is such an important part of his day and has given him a sense of maturity.”
Shalom learned how to navigate the system, to be prepared for all weather, and to navigate schedule changes or delays that might affect his trip.
“Riding CTA by myself gives me freedom to be independent,” Shalom said. “I can go to work, I can go out and shop by myself. It was hard at first, but now I know how to get anywhere I need to go.”
Watch a video below to learn more about the RTA Travel Training program.