Planning Education in Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities

Authors: Mahtot Gebresselassie*, Virginia Tech, Thomas W Sanchez, Virginia Tech
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, Transportation Geography, Disabilities
Keywords: Accessible transportation, Mobility for seniors and persons with disabilities, Transportation education
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Directors Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

This study looks at the effect of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in transportation-planning education, a quarter of a century after its passage. It examines how planning schools prepare students, if at all, to work effectively in a system that aims to respond to transportation needs of persons with disabilities. A survey of transport-related courses was conducted to answer the following research question: What is the state of planning education in US universities in accessible transportation for persons with disabilities (accessible transportation hereafter)? Analysis of 53 course syllabi collected from 23 graduate planning programs in U.S. universities showed the coverage of the topic to be minimal but identified ample opportunities to incorporate the topic without any major change to existing course structure. The purpose of the study is to bring to the fore, in planning education, questions of transportation accessibility for seniors and persons with disabilities. This is a timely issue considering the unprecedented demand the graying population will create on transportation agencies in the U.S. and other countries around the world.

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