Our students have been working hard all summer at their Level II fieldwork placements in Mental Health, Physical Disabilities, and Pediatrics and accomplishing wonderful things. One group of students completing Level II Mental Health fieldwork at Barrier Free Living (https://www.bflnyc.org/) wanted to increase their client’s access to transportation. They invited an MTA bus to come to the transitional housing site to educate the residents about the accessibility of the bus system. OT student Amanda Rubin, who spearheaded the project, explained that a majority of the residents use motorized wheelchairs or scooters and were often dependent on Access-A-Ride, which sometimes came too late or too early.
More than 10 residents took part in the demonstration. They all had the opportunity to enter, settle, and exit the bus with the assistance of the OT Department and an MTA bus driver. Each person had different needs based on their specific disability and adaptive equipment. They also learned how to communicate with the bus driver in order to get their needs met.
The entire day was dedicated to helping residents learn their rights, how to best advocate for themselves, and how to independently use public transportation.