Transportation

DARTS Extended to Cognitively Disabled Hamiltonians

By Michelle Martin
Published March 07, 2012

There's nothing like breaking down a task into its essential components to see the relatively complex thought processes behind many everyday activities.

As I wrote last month, safe travel on the bus involves orientation skills (including how to make use of landmarks if one is unable to grasp the abstract concept behind cardinal directions), deductive reasoning (if I don't know this person, then I shouldn't disembark with him, even though he seems to know my first name), and risk management (it may be okay to reveal some of my personal information to someone who is making a phone call for me because I am injured, but it is not okay to provide personal information to a stranger for no reason).

This is why it is so important that DARTS eligibility be extended to cognitively disabled people who are not able to learn to travel independently. There are many for whom an independent bus trip is not a realistic goal, but who have other goals that they are able to reach, if only they had the means to get to where they need to be to reach them.

Council made an important decision yesterday in voting to extend DARTS eligibilty to cognitively disabled residents of Hamilton.

If the city keeps this up, we can look beyond the ideal of being the best place to raise a child, and onward to being the best place to live, for everyone, period.

Michelle Martin lives in Hamilton. The opinions she expresses in Raise the Hammer are her own.

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By Lisa (anonymous) | Posted March 08, 2012 at 10:43:13

thanks Michelle for shining a light on this issue! rock on, Lisa

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By Yes to this (anonymous) | Posted March 08, 2012 at 14:04:13

I second Lisa's comment above, thanks Michelle.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted March 09, 2012 at 10:02:52

This is a good thing. I think perhaps elderly should be included as well. This is what you get when you build a city where a car is necessary to do day to day activities.

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