Today marks the 23rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Getting ready for the marshmallow speaking exercise.

Getting ready for the marshmallow speaking exercise. Photo: Anna Chen/Metro

Metro partnered up with Communities Actively Living Independent & Free (CALIF), an independent living advocacy center that serves the senior and/or disabled population in central Los Angeles, to honor the 23rd anniversary of the American with Disabilities Act this morning with a disability sensitivity activity at Union Station.

Set up in the East Portal, CALIF brought various types of assistive equipment, such as wheelchairs and walkers, which passersby could use to experience what getting around is like for people with physical disabilities. Visitors could also sign in at the CALIF table using their non-dominant hand and try a marshmallow speaking exercise to get an idea of the different challenges physical disabilities can present.

Took a trip in one of these bad boys. Arms burning just a few minutes in.

Took a trip in one of these bad boys…arms started burning just a few minutes in! Photo: Anna Chen/Metro

As someone who has never had to use a wheelchair, using one to travel from the East Portal to the Red Line platform was an experience. It was faster than I thought it’d take, but there were instances where I had to consider limitations I don’t usually think about as a walking person – I was truly at the mercy of the elevator. And imagine asking for directions with a mouth full of marshmallow!

Public transportation provides a means for those with disabilities to travel independently and lead healthy, active lifestyles. Even as Metro’s ADA ridership continues to grow, it’s important to educate the public on the types of services available. Metro will continue to make improvements to remain one of the most accessible transit systems in the U.S.

2 replies

  1. Thank you metro for having a discounted rate for those with disabilities. but this is only one piece of making life easier for the disabled whether its physical disability or a mental disability that are often harder to prove. That is why ADA need to work harder to help people especially now be able to find jobs and hold those accountable to those who wont employee people who are disable, and require employers to provide benefits and not hire them as a second rate employee with less pay and less benefits because they have a disability. The California Law of At Will Employee give the disabled employees no Justice for being discriminated by employers. And because companies are becoming too lazy too find new employees themselves using recruiters to do the work. Takes the pressure of the companies who decides to fires people and puts it on the recruiters who sent you to them in the first place.

  2. Thank you, Metro, for bringing this ADA sensitivity exercise to us, the transit-riding public. Those of us who don’t often see disabled people need to periodically recharge our communication skills (and our empathy).