For teens and young adults being able to travel independently is an exciting new possibility and can expand opportunities including maintaining employment, attending college and/or vocational training, participating in activities, and gaining additional independence. Depending on where you live, there are many different types of transportation options available to transitioning youth including public transit, paratransit, driving a car, and taxi services.
Public Transportation & Travel Training
Public Transit includes fixed route public transportation by bus, subway, and light rail. There are multiple public transit agencies in Maryland. Different cities and counties in Maryland have different public transportation options. Your county website should have a list of which public transportation options are available in your area. When learning about your local transportation system, be sure to ask if there are reduced programs for riders with disabilities.
If you are interested in learning to navigate public transportation, you can take travel training classes. Travel training is designed to teach individuals with disabilities how to travel safely and independently on fixed route public transporation.
You can receive travel training through several organizations, including:
For people living in other regions, contact your local public transportation agency and your local Center for Independent Living. Both of these may have information on travel training programs in your region.
Additional information can be found on the Travel Training Fact Sheet.
Paratransit & Taxi Services
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, many public transportation systems are required to provide “paratransit” to people with disabilities who are unable to use fixed route public transportation. Paratransit services are usually small accessible vans or buses that provide door-to-door services at around the same cost as fixed route public transportation. Like regular fixed route, you may ride in these vehicles with other paratransit riders. Paratransit services typically pick up and drop off at places within ¾ of a mile of the fixed route public transportation service areas.
To find out what paratransit services (sometimes called “ADA services”) are offered in your area, call your local public transportation provider. In most cases, you will need to show eligibility by filling out an application and providing documentation of your disability.
Many counties offer a taxi or “call a ride” service to people with disabilities. For some counties, this may be a service they provide because they do not offer paratransit services. And some counties offer the “call a ride” service in addition to paratransit services.
In most cases, call-a-ride services are very similar to calling a regular taxi, but they will charge you a reduced fare. In some counties, these call-a-ride services may only be available at certain times or on certain days.
Click here for a list of call-a-ride services for people with disabilities. As with paratranist, you may need to submit an application or documentation of your disability to receive these services.
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Drivers with Disabilities
General Information for New or Young Maryland Drivers:
Driving Classes for Students with Disabilities
Students with disabilities should choose a driving school with instructors and equipment designed for their specific needs, such as hand controls, adjustable steering columns, and communication accommodations.
Learner’s Permit Test Accommodations
- The written learner’s permit test can be given orally (by appointment only). Contact MVA Customer Service to make an appointment or click here to read more about the MVA’s testing policies.
- MVA will provide ASL interpreters for test-takers who are deaf or hard of hearing. Contact MVA Customer Service to request an interpreter or click ehre to read more about the MVA’s interpreter policies.
Additional Considerations for Drivers with Disabilities
Reporting Medical Conditions: Maryland law requires that drivers notify the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) of certain medical conditions when he or she is applying for a new driver’s license, renewing an existing driver’s license, or when a condition is diagnosed. Click here for a list of conditions and how to notify the MVA.
Vision Screening: All Maryland drivers must meet certain vision requirements to receive a license. Vision screening can be done at the MVA or by a vision specialist. Click here for more information on vision requirements and vision screening, or to download the vision screening form for a vision specialist to complete.
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Vehicles may be modified for drivers and passengers with disabilities, including adding hand controls and wheelchair lifts. Click here for a link to the National Modified Equipment Dealers Association, which provides general information about modified vehicles and places that sell modified vehicles.
If you would like information about modified vehicle dealers in Maryland, contact the Maryland Technology Assistance Program.
Paying for Vehicle Modifications
- The Maryland Technology Assistance Program provides low interest loans to eligible individuals for the purchase assistive technology devices, including vehicle modifications.
- The Division of Rehabilitation Services also provides vehicle modification services. Click here if you are eligible for services through the Division of Rehabilitation Services and would like more information.
- While most vehicle modifications can be done in-state by a Maryland dealer, if you are interested in a particular brand that is not sold in Maryland, or reside in an area where a Maryland dealer is not in close proximity, you may need to research additional dealers in neighboring states through the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association.
Maryland Vehicle Mobility Dealers
- Oneness Mobility Services
7620 A Penn Belt Dr.
Forestville, MD 20747
Web Site: http://www.onenessmobility.com
- Auto Assist, Inc.
5002 Lehigh Ave.
College Park, MD 20740
Web Site: http://www.autoassistinc.com
(website is currently down)
- Koons Ford of Annapolis
2540 Riva Rd.
Annapolis, MD 21401
Web Site: http://www.koonsford.com
11409 Maryland Ave.
Beltsville, MD 20705
Web Site: http://www.Ride-AwayMD.com
- BEDCO Mobility
6300 Falls Rd., Suite 2
Baltimore, MD 21209
Web Site: http://www.bedcomobility.com
- Truck'n America Mobility Equipment
2130 Old Washington Rd.
Waldorf, MD 20601
Web Site: http://www.trucknamerica.com
- AA Eastern Mobility, Inc.
P. O. Box 415
4 Council Drive
Woodsboro, MD 21798
Web Site: www.easternmobility.com
14133 Pennsylvania Avenue
Hagerstown, MD 21742
Web Site: www.customizersconversions.com
- TTI Mobility Products
321-A S. Division Street
Fruitland, MD 21826
Phone: (800) 576-4323
Web Site: www.totravelindependently.com
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