VETERAN TRAINING CLASSES GET MORE FUN AND MORE POWERFUL FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

Trainers are working to create more efficient train travel times for people with disabilities.

But there’s still work to be done.

For example, people with cerebral palsy often travel in wheelchairs.

And with so many people with a disability and so few accessible vehicles, the challenge of accommodating wheelchairs has been challenging.

A new program at Virginia Tech is looking to help those people navigate this transition, by giving them the ability to participate in train travel for the first time. 

VETERANS FOR TRAVEL, an organization based at Virginia Commonwealth University, is working with local universities to create a pilot program for train travel.

The program is called the Wheelchair-Free Traveler’s Journey, and it’s designed to help trainees with disabilities understand the challenges they face while on the road. 

In this new program, trainees will have access to wheelchairs, but they’ll still have to navigate a lot of other hurdles that can impact their quality of life, said Allison Lutz, an associate professor of occupational therapy at the University of Virginia. 

This program allows trainees to travel in a wheelchair, but the only things that will be required of them will be to carry their own bags, and they’ll have to follow certain safety rules, like keeping the wheelchairs in the back of their cars and using a turn signal at all times.

Trainees with cognitive impairments can use the program to train to be more efficient drivers, and trainees who have physical disabilities can use it to learn to use a wheelchair and to navigate the crowds of trainees and the crowds at the station. 

“There’s so many ways that we can go in to providing better transportation for people who have disabilities, whether it’s by developing better train travel, by enabling the use of accessible vehicles in public places, or by providing the training that trainees need to be able to navigate those environments,” Lutz said. 

The Wheelchair Free Traveler Journey program has been implemented by the University at Albany in New York, and the National Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials is in the process of creating a pilot that will go into effect at the end of this year.

This is a pilot pilot program that will allow trainees on the Wheelcock Free Travelers Journey to use wheelchairs while traveling, with no additional equipment or training required.

It will be open to all trainees, and those who are eligible for the program will be able use the train in a designated wheelchair lane. 

I have had many people come to me and say, ‘I just got a little bit sick, and I was trying to find the wheelchair-accessible train, and this is the best I could do,'” said trainee Amy Smith, a 27-year-old who has cerebral palsia. 

A wheelchair is not always the best solution for people.

A wheelchair can be uncomfortable, and people with physical disabilities have to be aware of what they’re doing when they’re on the train.

“If people have some limitations, we can work to get them to more accessible options.” “

I think it’s really important that we have programs that are geared toward people with the highest needs,” Lutzes said.

“If people have some limitations, we can work to get them to more accessible options.” 

The pilot program will take place over the next six months and will offer trainees the opportunity to take a self-guided train, which will include activities like a walking tour, a visual orientation session, and a quiz that assesses their ability to learn and use a wheel chair.

Trainers will also have access for a one-hour self-paced online training session with Lutz that will provide them with the opportunity for a personalized training experience.

The Wheelchair Accessible Train will go live in 2017, and Lutz hopes it will be an easy way for trainees that have a mobility disability to take their first steps toward improving their quality-of-life.

“The Wheelchairs Free Travel is designed to allow trainee participants to participate with dignity, with dignity and with dignity at the same time,” she said.