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Date of Award

8-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Department

Social Work

Supervisor

Jane Aronson

Language

English

Abstract

Transportation is among the essential services that promote inclusion to everyday life for all citizens. Neither private nor public transportation systems provide fully adequate access for people with mobility limitations such as the elderly or people with disabilities. The historical exclusion from full participation in many activities of daily life experienced by people with disabilities is perpetuated by this lack of access to adequate transportation. Through a social lens and legislative backdrop, this study explored the challenges experienced by passengers of Accessible Transportation Services (ATS) in Hamilton, Ontario. This research was consistent with feminist methodology and was based upon a qualitative study of seven women with disabilities who are ATS passengers.

The accounts of these passengers illuminated barriers, both practical and attitudinal, that they experienced in using accessible transportation. Managing these barriers required work on their parts, generated considerable stress and compromised their inciusion as equal and entitied citizens. This study can serve as a starting point from which to examine the experiences of accessible transportation for passengers of working age and how they navigate their lives through the complex set of rules. Their description of ATS can inform service operations and ongoing policy development, both locally and more broadly in the province or even abroad. This study can also enhance an understanding of transportation as a contributor to, and perhaps, determinant of social inclusion.

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