It has been said that transportation is the biggest barrier for individuals with or without a disability. This is a common barrier many adults seeking employment struggle with. Once all the assessments are done, and a job environment you feel you will thrive in is found, it is imperative that transportation be worked out.
In my experience it is vital to the success of obtaining and maintaining employment to have conversations before job searches or assessments are done with the job seekers, and their family/support system, to work out the logistics of how the employee will get to work. Once this plan is made then there needs to be a contingency plan set in place in the event something comes up that affects the employee’s ride.
One of the most common questions asked during the interview process is “Do you have reliable transportation?”. In other words are you going to be flexible with your schedule and show up when it’s your time to work?
The Importance of a Fixed Work Schedule
For many individuals who are working their 1st or maybe even 2nd job, you are usually the one who has to be the most flexible, and have to fill in the vacancies after full time employees hours are scheduled. If an absolute fixed schedule is needed then this will need to be addressed during the first meeting with the employer during the assessment period. It is only fair to the employer that they know if a certain schedule is needed so that they can plan accordingly.
In my experience the more an employer knows up front about specific dates and times the candidate is available, the easier it is for the prospective employee to say, “Yes, I have reliable transportation.” As I have said in previous posts, open communication is necessary in order for the working relationship to be successful.
Public Transportation Options
A suggestion I would make for anyone who is struggling with transportation is to research your local mass transit and inquire about their routes, and fees. I would also suggest checking to see if there is any transit for individuals with disabilities that could provide door-to-door services. Although, transportation is a big barrier for many it can be overcome and should not stop anyone from obtaining and maintaining employment.
By Maggie Cromeens
Maggie earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal and Fine Arts with a Major in Communication/Public Relations and a Minor in Non Profit Management from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She has worked for Compass Resource Group since 2011. She assists adults in Texas with disabilities in achieving their employment goals by providing training, job placement assistance, environmental work assessments, social skills training, and job coaching. She has been instrumental in shaping the services at Compass Resource Group to meet the needs of young adults on the Autism Spectrum who are transitioning from high school. She is a member of the DARS Statewide Developmental Disorders Team