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Autonomous Vehicles (AVs): Driving Employment for People with Disabilities Online Dialogue

As new transportation technologies such as on-demand mobility solutions and, in the near future, AVs enter the mainstream, they offer increased potential for reducing transportation and employment barriers for Americans with disabilities. Capitalizing on these technologies will help a large segment of the population reach its full potential and increase their contributions to society, in turn strengthening our social fabric and economy.

Across the country, AV legislation is also being discussed, but little attention is being given to the role this technology can play in serving individuals with disabilities. There is a need for the disability community to organize, learn more about the technology, and enhance its advocacy efforts. Additionally, there is a need for technology developers to become better educated on the need and value of designing their vehicles with the disability community in mind.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) have teamed up to host this online dialogue in order to promote innovative thinking around the design and deployment of autonomous vehicles as it relates to employment.

This online dialogue will explore how AVs can increase workplace participation for those with disabilities. Following the conclusion of this dialogue, ODEP and SAFE will develop resources and materials to enhance understanding of the technology and how it can be of use to the disability community as they seek stable and long-term employment.

As you submit your ideas or comment and vote on ideas submitted by others below, please keep the following guiding questions in mind:

  • How does access to transportation affect employment opportunities for those with disabilities today?
  • What is needed to ensure that autonomous vehicles are accessible and affordable to those with disabilities? Comments can focus on vehicle design, human-machine interface requirements, or other general thoughts on topic.
  • Autonomous vehicles may change the entire system of transportation. What broader design elements should we begin thinking about in terms of infrastructure, or the needs around summoning or distributing fleets of autonomous vehicles?

To join the conversation about what is needed to ensure that AVs can help those with disabilities overcome obstacles to employment once they are deployed, please take a moment to Register or to Log In (if you have already registered), and share your ideas. You can also VOTE on any of the ideas, you can COMMENT on any of the ideas, sharing your experience or asking questions about that idea, or you can ADD AN IDEA, by clicking on the SUBMIT NEW IDEA button or clicking the Got It, Let's Get Started link at the bottom of the page.

We look forward to your contributions and thank you in advance for joining us in this important effort.

For further instructions on how to participate in this online dialogue, visit How to Get Started.

To learn more about the Transportation Innovation online dialogues, visit our Learn More page.