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Personal transportation plan pilot program phase 1 : exploring the transportation behaviors and needs of veterans and people with physical disabilities and mobility constraints.
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    This report summarizes the initial phase of the Personal Transportation Plan Pilot Program (PTP3). The purpose of the PTP3 initiative is to develop a personal transportation planning tool that can be used by disabled Vermonters and Vermont veterans to match existing transportation resources with their travel needs. In order to accomplish this goal, a comprehensive understanding of the travel needs, current travel options, and travel challenges facing these two target populations is essential. The first phase of this project, therefore, has the following objectives: Objective 1: Identify mobility needs of Vermonters with disabilities and Vermont veterans, for all aspects of their lives, including employment, health care, social interactions, and education. Objective 2: Measure the ability of these target populations to meet their travel needs. This includes the use of existing public transportation services as well as any private support from family, friends, and the community. Objective 3: Inform the subsequent phases of the pilot program through empirically-based policy recommendations. This report consists of seven sections. The remainder of this section presents background information about the mobility of disabled persons and veterans, with particular attention paid to their experiences in Vermont. In Section 2, we outline the methods used to document the travel needs, options and challenges of disabled Vermonters and Vermont veterans. These methods include both focus groups and survey data collection. In Sections 3 and 4 we present the results of these data collection efforts for disabled Vermonters and Vermont veterans respectively. Finally, we situate our findings in the current policy environment and put forth recommendations for the future stages of the PTP3 program in Section 5 for disabled Vermonters, and Section 6 for Vermont veterans. Section 7 provides recommendations for next steps in the PTP3 development process. 1.1 Disabled Persons The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 classifies disability as a “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities” (42 USC § 12102) – phrasing that has been closely replicated in Vermont law.1 These impairments have been codified to include a wide range of conditions ranging from musculoskeletal pain and sensory loss to intellectual disabilities and mental illness. These codified standards serve to systematically determine eligibility for benefits such as Medicaid, Social Security, and disability-related veterans’ benefits for offices such as Vermont Disability Determination Services and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In addition, these criteria allow for the systematic collection of descriptive statistics for which we can sketch the current state of persons with disabilities throughout the state.
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