Fighting for Inclusion: How Transportation and Healthcare Can Improve

Jun 27, 2017
Tagged with: Fighting for Inclusion: How Transportation and Healthcare Can Improve

 

Because we live in a capitalistic society, where marketers are always trying to target the largest common denominator, there will always be “norms.” We will always have groups seen as more “mainstream” and who society is largely built for because corporations know they can make money by centering the largest and/or most powerful group of people.

But luckily, there will also always be people fighting for those who don’t fit those norms, those who still deserve to be able to be able to navigate public spaces, see representations of themselves in the media, and pursue their dreams.

Below are two key industries and how they can improve their inclusivity, specifically for people with alternative mobility needs.

Transportation

Public transportation is required to accommodate people in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. This means that people with wheelchairs, hearing impairments, and blindness are all considered when public transportation is designed. Cab services licensed by cities are also required to be accessible.

But in the last ten years, private companies have been trying to replace public transportation.

Recently, Lyft announced a shuttle service, that is basically a bus. The only difference is that it costs more, and isn’t accessible to people without smartphones and credit cards. This “new” service seems more exclusionary than innovative when you really think about it.

The regular ride-services are not held to the same requirements as taxi services. There are documented instances of drivers refusing to accommodate people in wheelchairs. When services are offered, they are more expensive, which is avoided by taxi companies by balancing costs between different types of vehicles.

When private companies want to replace public services, they must be held to reasonable standards so that people continue to be served equally.

Healthcare

The healthcare industry is already improving with focuses on patient-based care and expanding home care options. Tomorrow’s nurses are being prepared for an older population with a wide range of backgrounds and medical histories. Medical travel is becoming more accessible, making it easier for people to be transported to the most qualified physician for their needs.

Unfortunately, doctors still have a long way to go when it comes to listening to their patient’s experiences. People with pre-existing conditions are still largely misdiagnosed. Doctors refuse to look further than the most obvious condition. So people with diabetes, people who are overweight, and people with visible disabilities are often ignored and told they don’t know their own bodies. Hopefully the industry can improve and these practices will see the way of archaic treatments like bloodletting.

Both of these industries have already seen improvements, but the privatization of transportation and the possibility of fewer insurance regulations are a threat for regression. Talk with industry professionals and your elected representatives to fight for greater inclusion for people of all abilities.

Author: Jeriann Ireland



  • bobl07

    It is important that organizations such as Lyft and Uber have person first and disability etiquette training for their organization and drivers. This would help address some of these issues.