Kari Ruse, Jennifer Eurek, and myself are members of the Nebraska Olmstead Transportation Workgroup. As stated by Disability Rights Nebraska, the Nebraska’s Olmstead Plan addresses:

The United States Supreme Court ruling from 1999 that held that the unjustified segregation of persons with disabilities constitutes segregation, and that public entities must provide community-based services to persons with disabilities when:

1. Such services are appropriate;

2. The affected person do not oppose community-based treatment; and

3. Community-based services can be reasonably accommodate, taking into account the resources available and the needs of others who are receiving disability services.

Nebraska’s plan protects the state from litigation if the plan is implemented and proven to be effective. It also ensures that all Nebraskans with disabilities are able to fully exercise their right to choose to live in the most integrated community settings. 

Transportation is a vital area of need for people with disabilities, and we have been engaged in lively discussion in the Olmstead Transportation Workgroup about transportation goals and strategies for achieving them. One change we made last month was to replace “accessible” with “universally accessible”. This one word makes a big difference: universal design in transportation means the systems are designed to be usable by all people to the greatest extent possible regardless of age, size, ability, or disability. Thus, solutions with universal designs serve not only the needs of a single minority group but create an environment accessible and convenient for everyone. It is a different way of thinking from the past, helping move us forward to making things more accessible.

Universal design and universal accessibility in transportation are concepts that will be influencing how we design solutions to transportation challenges for years to come.  When our workgroup’s goals are finalized, we will share them with all of you.

Photo of Bill Bivin, Nebraska's statewide mobility manager

Bill Bivin

Statewide Mobility Manager

bbivin@unomaha.edu

402-570-0491

About Author

Nebraska Public Transit is a program administered by the Nebraska Department of Transportation. NDOT’s Local Assistance Division is responsible for coordinating public transportation activities in Nebraska’s 93 counties and provides technical assistance as requested. NDOT receives money from the Federal Transit Administration and state transportation funds to fulfill requirements set forth by Nebraska Revised Statute 13-1204.

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