Transportation can be a big barrier to employment for people who are blind or have low vision. Finding reliable transportation to and from work is an important piece of the employment puzzle. Research projects from the NRTC resulted in the following takeaways:
Seek out orientation and mobility (O&M) training. O&M training provides people who are B/LV a chance to learn and practice travel and transportation skills. Receiving O&M training is linked to lower stress while using public transportation. If navigating public transportation is causing you stress, ask your VR counselor if you would benefit from O&M training. Learn more.
Practice using public transportation. Regular use of public transportation each month is linked to lower transportation stress levels. Practice your travel skills by using public transportation regularly. Learn more.
As you look for a job, don’t forget to think about how you will get to and from that job. Planning for transportation may be overlooked during the job search process. Turning down a job because you can’t figure out a transportation arrangement is bad for everyone involved. Talk to your VR counselor and other trusted advisors about your transportation options and problem-solve any obstacles ahead of time. Learn more.
Talk to your VR counselor or friends who are blind or have low vision if transportation (or the lack of it) is negatively impacting your life. Transportation barriers may especially impact activities that aren’t on a regular schedule or that occur in the evenings and weekends, like entertainment or shopping. Try making a schedule of your transportation needs and then brainstorm how to find reliable transportation for each activity. Learn more.
Consider your proximity to public transportation. While relocating may not always be feasible, think about the benefits of living near public transportation. If you are looking for a job, it may make sense to relocate to a more central location to increase your transportation options. Learn more.
Consider learning to use bioptics. This technology allows some people with low vision to drive. Learn more about driving by using bioptics and ask your eye doctor if this option could be right for you. Learn more.
Transportation Resources from the NRTC
- Article Summary: Stress Associated with Transportation
- Article Summary: Findings from a National Transportation Survey of Individuals who are Blind and Visually Impaired
- Article Summary: Orientation & Mobility Providers Offer Transportation Insights
- Practice Brief: Navigating Your Neighborhood
- Practice Brief: Orientation and Mobility
- Practice Brief: Public Transportation
- Practice Brief: Using a White Cane
This comprehensive guide, designed for persons who are blind or have low vision and those who serve them, contains updated information about finding and using transportation options.
- A Transportation Guide for Persons who are Blind or Have Low Vision - Word
- A Transportation Guide for Persons who are Blind or Have Low Vision - PDF
Customized Transportation Plan
This plan is meant to generate conversation between you and your vocational rehabilitation counselor about your transportation situation. The questions guide you to consider various transportation routes, your transportation history, and your transportation options.