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Transportation Initiative Seeks to Find Solutions for Rural Kentucky

KentuckyWorks and Kentucky E3TC held a joint community conversation on March 20 in Jackson, Kentucky. The goal of the activity was to bring together a diverse group of concerned citizens in the Breathitt County area to examine what could be done to increase transportation options for people with disabilities. Our expectation is that success with this task will result in an increase in inclusion.

Twenty-three citizens participated in the conversation, twenty at the local site, and three online. Participants held a wide variety of roles in the community including: service providers, employers, teachers, individuals with disabilities and family members, not for profit agency representatives, government officials, and representatives of the faith community.

he result of the activity was a list of nine ideas to continue exploring and a strong desire from participants to continue seeking meaningful solutions.

“The scarcity of transportation options is a near universal barrier to improved healthcare, employment, and community inclusion for people with disabilities in most rural communities. The Transportation Initiative sponsored by the UK-HDI Fund for Excellence represents an effort to organize existing resources and augment with new, innovative approaches that can be effective not only in our reference community; but can be replicated throughout Kentucky.”  Jeff White, KentuckyWorks Project Director

Project E3 is a Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Technical Assistance Center project that HDI is working on with the Department of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies, Southern University, Baton Rouge, LA. This HDI project is aimed at developing community support for increasing participation in VR for people with disabilities living in rural and remote and economically disadvantaged areas in Kentucky and reducing barriers to employment, including transportation.

Project E3 is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration (Grant# H264F15003). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed here are those of HDI and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U. S. Department of Education or SUBR.