The Americans with Disabilities Act has established categories of persons who are eligible to receive Paratransit services complementary to fixed route service. These persons are functionally defined based upon their inability to use existing fixed route service.
The regulations also establish standards for the process of determining eligibility and require that an appeal process be established.
In compliance with the ADA Regulations Pullman Transit has implemented an ADA Eligibility process, and in the event a person is denied ADA Certification, an appeal process.
1. Any person with a disability who can use an accessible vehicle, but for whom any desired trip cannot be made because the fixed route service they need to use is not yet accessible, is deemed eligible.
This category includes persons who presently qualify under the 1986 Section 504 regulations for "Special Services" and includes persons who use walkers, wheelchairs or braces, and others whose disabilities prevent them from utilizing an inaccessible vehicle or facility.
2. Individuals who because of their disability cannot independently board, ride and/or disembark from an accessible vehicle. The driver is expected to provide assistance in operating the boarding system, extendable ramp, or any securement devices.
The presence of a traveling companion does not effect the evaluation of the eligible individual's ability to independently utilize the transit service.
3. Individuals who have impairment-related conditions that prevent them from getting to or from a boarding or disembarking location. Examples of eligibility based on this category would include severe, chronic fatigue related to HIV infection and AIDS, heat sensitivity due to cardiovascular disease and hypothermia due to quadriplegia.
4. An individual who has been certified by another transit provider will be considered eligible by Pullman Transit for 21 days as required by the ADA.
5. A person traveling as a companion of a person who is ADA Paratransit eligible is deemed eligible for that trip. Additional traveling companions must be accommodated on a space available basis only.
6. Personal care attendants required by the eligible individual for travel are considered mobility aids and not companions.
7. The regulations make explicit the eligibility of persons whose disability is temporary. Certification of eligibility would carry a specific expiration date.
8. Individuals may be eligible for ADA Paratransit if their disability is intermittent. Such individuals will need to be certified for eligibility based upon the most limiting aspects of their disability.
9. An individual will be certified as ADA Paratransit eligible if there is any part of the system in the designated service area that cannot be used or navigated by that individual because of a disability.
Procedures for Determining ADA Paratransit Eligibility
The United States Department of Transportation American's with Disabilities Act (USDOT ADA) regulations allow the requirement of medical certification in determining ADA Paratransit eligibility. Such documentation would be limited primarily to a specific impairment related to a disability.
Documentation from sources such as an independent living or rehabilitation counselor, physical therapist, or other such professional, would prove more useful in establishing an individual's ability to utilize transit service.
Pullman Transit utilizes an ADA eligibility process which generally relies on self-certification of a person's functional abilities, supplemented by additional documentation only as is required to effectively evaluate and classify an individual's specific impairments.
Documentation would also be required if a particular claim appeared to be unsupported by the information provided in the application or appeared to be fraudulent.
Re-certification will not be necessary, once an individual has been certified with Pullman Transit. However, an individual will have the option of being re-certified if their functional abilities have changed since their last certification.
Documentation of ADA Paratransit Eligibility
A person determined to be eligible for ADA Paratransit service must be provided some form of documentation that can be used as identification when the person travels to another transit area. This documentation must include the name of the eligible individual, the name of the certifying transit provider and the telephone number of the provider's Paratransit coordinator, an expiration date, any conditions or limitations on eligibility, and if the individual indicated a need for a personal care attendant.
For assistance or to obtain more information on the Americans with Disabilities Act please contact Wayne Thompson at (509) 338-3249.