October 2016 marks a very special milestone for NADTC – we’ve officially been around for one year! Last October we were honored to begin work with the support of the Federal Transit Administration on this exciting new Center and everything we do here at NADTC is working towards our main goal:
To promote the availability and accessibility of transportation options or older adults, people with disabilities and caregivers.
And as you’ll see from this post, we’ve been busy doing just that! Here are 12 of the many accomplishments we are proud of from the last 12 months:
1. Designing Our Logo: A major step in launching the NADTC was the development and release of our logo and branding. These elements not only help people identify who we are, but are representative of what we do. Our logo represents mobility and connectivity as well as independence. We hope when you see this logo you recognize us and our mission!
2. Our Website! Our website launched in May 2016 after months of hard work. We have since generated over 30,000 total visitors! The website is designed to simplify how professionals who serve older adults and people with disabilities find accessible transportation resources. Speaking of resources…
3. There over 100 resources and publications the NADTC website; 104 to be exact! The NADTC Information Clearinghouse includes webinars, videos, toolkits, podcasts and Information Briefs, on topics spanning the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Mobility Management, Human Service Transportation, Travel Training, Coordination, Planning & Public Participation and more! We include resources and publications created under two previous federally funded Technical Assistance Centers, Easter Seals ProjectACTION and the National Center on Senior Transportation. We also update the Information Clearinghouse regularly with original NADTC content, from our webinars and Information Briefs, to our course on Section 5310. Almost 7,500 downloads have been made from the Information Clearinghouse. Stay tuned for some great new NADTC resources in the coming months!
4. NADTC’s Celebration & Briefing Event. This past summer, NADTC gathered over 60 professionals together in Washington, DC to highlight the importance of accessible transportation for older adults and people with disabilities and to celebrate the work of the NADTC. We were fortunate to have representatives from the Federal Transit Administration, the Administration for Community Living, and an outstanding local program, Central Maryland Regional Transit (CMRT), make remarks to the audience. We also heard from CMRT Travel Training Graduate DeMario Green, a young man who was in a motorcycle accident and has overcome injury to independently and actively use public transportation. The event was inspiring and we are grateful for the support of each and every attendee.
To read more about DeMario’s story, visit our blog.
5. An Incredible Staff: NADTC is a partnership of Easterseals and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a). Together, we are a staff 10 individuals and have combined expertise in topics spanning accessible transportation, the ADA, veterans’ issues, rural transportation, human services transportation, home and community-based services, information and referral and more! We are the voices you hear when you call our toll-free line and the people who answer your emails. We have traveled across the country to lead workshops and presented to you from our desks through webinars. We encourage dialogue among aging, disability, and transportation organizations. We are a small but mighty group of committed people responsible for NADTC. To learn more about who we are, see our staff bios.
6. We’ve written 14 blog posts (15 including this one!) covering 13 different topics including funding, technology, driver safety and transition, and mobility management. We have had guest bloggers, like transportation technology expert Carol Schweiger, who is nationally and internationally recognized in this field, and Central Maryland Regional Transit. If you have ideas on topics you would like to see covered in a blog post, send us an email!
7. Providing Technical Assistance: We provide person-centered technical assistance through a toll-free phone number (866-983-3222) and an email address (firstname.lastname@example.org). In the last year, we have answered over 700 requests for technical assistance and information from human services agencies, disability organizations, and providers and practitioners offering transportation and mobility services.
8. Referrals to the Eldercare Locator: NADTC receives calls from professionals, but also directly from consumers. To ensure everyone receives the information they need, we have developed a strong relationship with the Eldercare Locator, a U.S. Administration on Aging-funded nationwide toll-free number and website. Our system ensures there is a seamless transfer of all NADTC consumer requests to Eldercare Locator Information Specialists, who then make referrals to local resources. Transportation is the number one reason seniors and caregivers contact the Eldercare Locator!
9. Social Media Presence: You don’t necessarily have to pick up the phone or send us an email stay in touch – we are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube! We post articles, events, pictures, updates, and every webinar we host is re-posted on our YouTube channel. We love to communicate and engage with our network on these social media platforms. Make sure you are following us so you don’t miss out!
10. NADTC Grant Competition: In July we released a Request for Proposals for NADTC’s first grant competition, “Innovations in Accessible Mobility”. This grant opportunity is intended to support program innovations that increase accessible transportation options for older adults and people with disabilities and maximize the utilization of Section 5310 and other federal funding investments. We received over 120 applications for these grants, and soon we will be announcing the six communities that will be awarded up to $50,000 each. Stay tuned!
11. NADTC Mobility Fair:. Throughout the year, NADTC staff traveled across the country to give presentations as well as listen, engage and learn from other professionals in the field. Nothing provides a better forum for exchange of ideas like our NADTC Mobility Fair, held this year at the n4a Conference in San Diego, CA. We were thrilled to be joined by nearly 70 people from Area Agencies on Aging across the country for dialogue in three different sessions: a Transportation Listening Session; Filling the Mobility Gap with Volunteer Drivers; and Funding a Community Transportation Program: Where Does the Money Come From? Highlights from each of these sessions are provided in our Mobility Fair Summary Series blog.
12. Sharing Information is a Two-Way Street: We use social media, our website, and our events to share information about what we do, but we have also been honored to share our story through other avenues. In May, we were featured in an online issue of Metro Magazine. The story highlights how to involve seniors, people with disabilities in making a transit system more accessible (make sure to read the article if you missed it!) But we also know we have to hear from you so we can provide the training, information and technical assistance that is the most useful for your needs. This summer we released a survey seeking input to help us plan our Year 2 work. We learned that the majority of people responding to the survey (44%) wanted information on finding out about local transportation options, followed closely by information on the Americans with Disabilities Act. We developed an information brief and held a webinar on how communities can find local transportation options, and we have an ADA expert on staff. If you want information on either of those topics or another issue in your community, get in touch with us today (call us at 866-983-3222 or email us at email@example.com).
After just one year of growth and success, we can’t wait for what’s in store next. Thanks for taking a moment to celebrate with us! Stay tuned because one of our future blog posts will offer highlights of our upcoming year.