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Accessible Transportation Technologies Research Initiative (ATTRI) : User Needs Assessment: Stakeholder Engagement Report.
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  • Abstract:
    The Accessible Transportation Technologies Research Initiative (ATTRI) is a joint U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) initiative that is co-led by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). ATTRI is also supported by the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Joint Program Office (JPO), National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), and other Federal agencies. ATTRI’s mission statement defines the Initiative’s purpose, the people it serves, and its primary objectives:1

    The mission of ATTRI is to transform the mobility of travelers with disabilities by providing the capability to reliably, safely and independently plan and execute their travel. ATTRI identifies, coordinates, develops, and implements new integrated solutions in advancing accessible transportation and universal mobility.

    The execution of ATTRI is being conducted in three (3) phases spanning over six (6) years: Exploratory and User Needs Research Phase (Year 1), Innovation and Prototype Phase (Years 2-4), and Demonstration Phase (Years 5-6). Within each Phase, a number of activities are being conducted, including extensive stakeholder outreach, communications, and scanning activities to solicit feedback and information from stakeholders on user needs for ATTRI’s user groups.

    This document provides a report on one such activity focused on soliciting feedback and information from stakeholders on user needs and barriers to mobility. Several different stakeholder engagement and outreach activities were conducted as part of this project including a literature review, a series of webinars, presentations at several conferences with “listening sessions,” and an in-person workshop. Each of these efforts was designed to provide information on many of the same topics – though using different mediums and techniques. Results from each activity were used as initial inputs for the remaining activities, allowing for the development of common themes and gathering of detailed

    information from stakeholders. The literature review, which was conducted first, provided insights into the historical perspectives of stakeholders as reported on by other researchers. This information directly informed the development of discussion topics and focus areas for a series of webinars. In turn, the webinars provided the second layer of context and information that was utilized and explored as part of an in-person workshop.

    Access to transportation is an extremely important policy issue for people with mobility needs. People with disabilities, Veterans with disabilities, and older adults have the same travel expectations as individuals with unrestricted mobility. The literature review provides a perspective into the characteristics of those sub-segments of the populations that are of interest to ATTRI. As identified and reported in the literature review, the definition of what constitutes a disability is not uniform. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA, 1990) defines a person with a disability as a person who has a physical or cognitive impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Within this broad definition, there are many aspects and types of disabilities, but they generally fall within one of four overall categories defined by visual, hearing, cognitive, and mobility disabilities. Regardless of the sub-segment of the population, many of the fundamental user needs for these groups of persons were found to be very similar across the literature review, webinars, and workshop.

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