For People with Disabilities, Transportation Can be a Barrier to Living Independently

Brady Sellet getting on a Cincinnati Metro bus ramp.Most people don’t think about how they’re going to get to work, or to school, or to the doctor.  Transportation is an everyday given. But for people with disabilities, getting where they need to go each day can be a challenge, and lack of reliable transportation can be a barrier to employment, recreation, community participation and living independently.

That’s why the SWOT team exists. SWOT stands for Southwest Ohio Transportation, and the team’s objectives are to share information about regional transportation options, and to discover creative ideas to help non-drivers get where they need to go.

Creative ideas are needed, because sometimes seemingly insignificant issues can cause big problems ­ like beat up sidewalks or snow plows piling up snow in front of a bus stop. “Winter in Cincinnati is not fun, but six inches of snow on an un-shoveled sidewalk is really difficult for those of us in wheelchairs,” said Brady Sellet, UC UCEDD Self Advocacy Representative.

Brady has been working at the University of Cincinnati University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UC UCEDD) at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center for 13 years, and for seven of those years he’s been taking the Metro to work from his home in Sayler Park, with a transfer downtown each way. Two hours on the bus each day has made Brady an expert on public transportation, and an ideal member of the SWOT team.

The SWOT team is comprised of members from UC UCEDD, users and advocates of accessible transportation, and regional community partners like Metro, OKI, Oak Hills Schools, Clovernook, Community First, Council on Aging in Southwestern Ohio, Independent Transportation Network, Warren County Community Services, Cincinnati Area Senior Services, Universal Transportation Systems, Center for Independent Living Options, CareGo, Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services, and many more.

Recently the team has been focused on accessible taxi laws in Cincinnati and creating aregional list of transportation agencies with contact information, hours, and rates. Looking ahead, the team is working on creating:

  • A Mobility Management System to manage and deliver coordinated transportation services,
  • A Transportation Consortium to address gaps in specific areas, and
  • A Transit Provider Training Program so more drivers and schedulers can provide service to people with disabilities.

The SWOT team meets quarterly at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. To learn more about SWOT, email Brady Sellet at

UC UCEDD creates connections between systems and communities to improve outcomes for people with disabilities. Please take a moment to like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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