Aug 08, 2005 — Lack of public transportation hits rural people with disabilities hard. In Essex County, advocates say the lack of wheel-chair accessible transportation violates the law.
Essex County Department of Social Services provides free transportation to people with medical or dental appointments. But the passenger cars they use are not wheelchair accessible.
Debra Buell: "Essex County is in violation of the law by not providing transportation for folks who are in wheelchairs when they provide it for people who can get into passenger cars."
Debra Buell lives in Ausable Forks. She uses a wheelchair for a recent accident.
She says Essex County is the only county in the North Country that does not provide wheelchair-accessible transportation. She and other advocates will be meeting with the county on Monday to explore solutions.
Debra Buell: We are in a terrific historic period right now because the federal government has recognized that rural counties suffer from a great lack of preventative health care all over the United States.
Buell says that federal money could help pay for a wheelchair accessible van, and expanded public transportation system.
For North Country Public Radio, I'm Gregory Warner.