MAG works diligently to ensure it upholds the principles of Title VI and Environmental Justice set forth to prevent the discrimination of any individual on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability from being excluded in the participation, denial of benefits to programs or activities related to transportation within the Maricopa region.
The disability community is an underserved community, and because many individuals with disabilities rely heavily on public transit, it is a community with a strong interest in transportation. In order to ensure that this community is provided opportunities for comment, MAG contracts with a Disability Outreach Associate. The associate is charged with engaging the disability community through a variety of means, including attending special events within the community, making small and large group presentations, and connecting individually with members of the community. The associate also distributes information and gathers input. The input is included in periodic input opportunity reports that are distributed to the MAG Management Committee, TPC and Regional Council for review and consideration prior to action on major plans or amendments.
Due to the focus of the community on transit, nearly all input opportunities the associate conducts include a representative from Valley Metro. The MAG Disability Outreach Associate and Valley Metro representative provide community presentations to provide residents of the region the ability to familiarize themselves with the public transportation system and available resources to help make their experience seamless. A few of the discussion items presented are:
• How to navigate the transit system.
• How to purchase ADA eligibility cards.
• How to communicate with the transit operator to ensure a successful ride.
• How to best utilize Valley Metro’s online trip planner.
In some cases, Valley Metro will return to the site of the presentation/event with a bus. Riding the bus can be an intimidating experience for people with disabilities. This allows people from the disability community an opportunity to learn about all aspects of the bus in a controlled environment. Special arrangements can also be made for groups of people within the disability community to ride the rail with a Valley Metro representative.
In addition, the disability outreach associate translates MAG materials into Braille, large-print or audio formats as requested. As a person with sight impairment, the associate is uniquely qualified to help evaluate the accessibility of MAG services.
All MAG public meetings comply with ADA requirements and are transit and wheelchair accessible.
MAG always includes specific language on all public hearing/meeting notices that any special assistance needed is available if given reasonable notice.