James Robertson’s grueling daily commute not only draws attention to America’s failure to accommodate its poor working class, but it poses an opportunity to examine the additional challenges on those citizens living with disabilities.

Detroiter’s 21-Mile Walk to Work Draws Attention to City’s Public Disability Transportation InadequacyWhile Robertson himself is not disabled, the viral attention his 21-mile commute to work has attracted raises questions about the standards of public transportation in Detroit and, furthermore, about the quality and accessibility of transportation for the city’s disabled and handicapped residents. While the Detroit Department of Transportation facilitates the ADA Special Services Program for Detroit’s disabled inhabitants, Robertson’s commute and employment circumstances are reflective of the many residents who, in order to secure and maintain employment, must leave the city of Detroit for work and cross into communities without established bus services.

Complicated, discontinuous, and non-existent transportation services pose significant challenges to the residents living with physical, mental, emotional, and social disabilities. So far, donators around the country have raised over $230,000 to assist Robertson and, during an interview with The Guardian, Robertson expressed, “I’d rather they spent that money on a 24-hour bus system, not on some little bus for me. This city needs buses going 24/7.” Focus on securing more accessible, reliable, and far-reaching transportation services for all residents in Detroit would, in turn, vastly improve the independence, accessibility, well-being, and opportunity of Detroit’s most vulnerable populations.

As national attention peaks around this strong issue, there is room to turn the widespread focus and philanthropy towards disability accessibility. Our cerebral palsy lawyers urge you to become educated about the disability transportation programs and problems in Detroit, Michigan, and to reach out to the many city and state disability advocates fighting for universal accessibility. To learn more about the topic or to find advocacy contacts around Detroit, we encourage you to visit our Detroit, Michigan cerebral palsy and disability resource page here.

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