Personal Story

Impact Feature Issue on Meeting Transportation Needs of Youth and Adults with Developmental Disabilities

The Longest Mile

Andy had been working at a group community work site for several months. At the same time, he had been working with his Rise employment specialist to find a customized job in the community. Andy and his employment specialist located a job at a fast food restaurant and Andy was thrilled when he was hired. The location was perfect, only one mile from his current job site. Certainly, his Rise driver could just drop him off within the same route. But it wasn’t that simple.

Andy wanted to continue to work in the afternoon at his current job after working 8-noon at the new job. But, Rise drivers are scheduled from about 6-10 a.m. daily, and then again from 1:30 until 5:50 p.m. To provide Andy the extra mid-day ride, Rise would need to schedule a driver to work overtime – not economically possible for one ride. So staff began to generate ideas to solve the challenge. After much exploration of options, they became aware of a taxi company that could provide the one-mile, mid-day ride for only $9 a day. This option works perfectly, and Andy now has two jobs. His family is proud of him; his father recently said, “Andy has so exceeded our expectations of what we thought was possible for him. We never thought he’d be competitively employed, and we’re very proud of him.”

Contributed by Lynn Noren, Rise, Inc., Spring Lake Park, Minnesota.