On a brisk autumn day in mid-November, Jose waits for the Columbus city bus with his caregiver, Joshua Cook, associate director of ARC Industries, a service organization for people with disabilities. Jose, whose last name will not be disclosed for protection purposes, is a middle-aged man with vision impairments.
When it comes to urban mobility, ambitious projects like bike lanes, bridges and busways tend to get most of the attention. As a result, perhaps the most important and fundamental piece of public transport is often overlooked. Sidewalks.
It’s difficult to remember pain when you’re not feeling it, and harder still to imagine living with physical limits you don’t actually have. But all it takes is a brief stroll to see how badly designed the city is for those who are very young, old, short, heavy, frail, or in any way impaired.
Uber has entered into a contract with MV Transportation, a para-transit firm, to provide service for customers with disabilities. MV will supply drivers and vehicles, while trips will be arranged through the Uber app.
Universal Design (UD) is an approach to design that increases the potential for developing a better quality of life for a wide range of individuals. It is a design process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation (Steinfeld and Maisel, 2012). It creates products, systems, and environments to be as usable as possible by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation.