National Workshop on Bus-Wheelchair Accessibility
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National Workshop on Bus-Wheelchair Accessibility

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      The National Workshop on Bus-Wheelchair Accessibility was held on May 7-9, 1986 in Seattle, Washington. The Workshop's goals were to establish greater awareness and understanding of the current accessibility issues; identify and resolve the key problems experienced in providing accessible service; and develop a workable set of industry guidelines for wheelchair lifts, securement devices, and ramps. The Conference addressed the options available to serve elderly and handicapped transit users: full-size lift-equipped buses on conventional routes and smaller vans and accessible buses in specialized supplemental service. Issues of safety, reliability and cost were discussed, as well as operationally-linked concerns. Questions of stability and crashworthiness arose pertaining to the small buses and paratransit vehicles. The Conference highlighted the need for standards associated with maintenance procedures for buses providing accessible service and for driver training to meet the needs of the handicapped. It also highlighted the need for additional development of wheelchair securement systems, especially automatic securement systems. This guideline specification is one of four specifications developed by the Advisory Panel of the Workshop, which developed separate guideline specifications for passive wheelchair lifts (those used primarily on transit buses), active wheelchair lifts (those used primarily on paratransit vehicles), ramps, and securement devices. Members of the Advisory Panel participated actively in the development of each individual guideline specification based upon their experience and interest. Although the Advisory Panel discussed many related accessibility issues, these specifications focus only on the technical requirements of a specific piece of equipment. They have been prepared to assist in the purchase of such equipment either separately or as part of an overall vehicle procurement.
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