Disability and Mobility

Great Falls National Park What does having a disability and the right mobility aids mean to you?  That’s what I would like you to think about when you read this article regardless if you have a lifelong disability or that you have one because you are getting older.  The fact is people with all disabilities whether temporary or not has the right to get out in about just like everyone else.  We just need mobility assistance to get around.  Whether you want to go to the super market, post office, go dancing, or even yes go to music clubs to jam out to some great tunes you have to have the right sources and transportation services to help you out so you can do what you want and need to do.  So with that said I would like to share my story with you so you can get what someone like me go’s through on a daily and weekly bases.

“Growing up with a disability was very heartbreaking and  challenging but at the same time can be really rewarding as well.  I grew up in a chair not knowing exactly who I was.  I was sad and depressed that I couldn’t go out and do things that others could do.  There was no transportation service for me to use nothing to do at all.”

Back in 2002 I had moved to Northern VA area and it was the same for a few years, but gradually things had changed for me.  To me, it was the best thing I have ever done.  I sat at home for the first few years and sooner or later I got real board.  So I ventured out and found Fairfax County Therapeutic Recreation. Therapeutic Recreation Services’ aim is to provide opportunities for children and adults with disabilities so they may acquire the skills that enable them to participate in the recreation and leisure programs of their choice. Staff is committed to providing services, education, and resources that meet our participants’ interests, needs, and abilities on the road toward lifelong participation and enjoyment in recreation and leisure activities. Staff also provides support and advocacy to individuals who wish to participate in general recreation activities. I worked in the office as a volunteer working on getting packets together, making phone calls, sometimes I went to the rec sites and helped with the summer camps and worked on a weekly bases with a program called Project Success.

So for entertainment I love many things.  I love to go dancing, go out to eat, go to my favorite music club in Vienna VA called Jammin Java to listen to great music and party. I have troubles going up to women and talking to them because I’m so scared on what they might do and say.  I have never been on a date or anything but I always tell myself one day it will happen, one day I’ll get a date. There are so much that’s out there that I want to do and will do but none of this is possible without a company called Metro Access.  Metro Access is a shared ride transportation service for people who are unable to use fixed-route public transit due to disability. “Shared ride” means that multiple passengers may ride together in the same vehicle.

The service provides daily trips throughout the Washington Metropolitan region, including the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. Rides are offered in the same service areas and during the same hours of operation as Metrorail and Metro bus. Metro Access is a service of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro), and is the region’s complementary para-transit service offered in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

In simplest terms the way this program works is if I want to go to like let’s say the 9:30 Club, I have to call and make reservations a day or two in advance.  Give them all the information that they need like the addresses and times and they set everything up and then they come get me on the day of the trip.  When they arrive at my home, they call to let me know that they are outside.  Then I get out of my home lock the house, get on the bus give them my metro money and off we go.

That’s a perfect example on how people with disabilities can get out in about and be on their own as much as possible.  So I encourage you to get out there in this world and try something new.  You will be amazed on what you can do.  You might be scared and don’t know what to do but you will be ok.   With little help by everyone and we all work as a team anything is possible.   If I can do it you can to.

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