STC RECEIVES FEDERAL AWARD TO EXPAND TRANSPORTATION SERVICES

CLEVELAND – February 2, 2017 – Senior Transportation Connection (STC) is one of six programs in the U.S. selected by The National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC) to develop practical, sustainable innovations in accessible transportation. The competitive award of $50,000 will help to create an evening and weekend transportation service for residents of North Olmsted who are aged 60 and older and adults with disabilities.

STC PLUS will leverage STC’s reputation, resources and infrastructure that have offered reliable, trusted transportation in North Olmsted on weekdays since 2009. STC’s accessible vehicles accommodate passengers’ mobility needs, and drivers are trained in service and assistance skills that deliver a safe, quality experience. “The ‘plus’ means independence and autonomy, especially to adults of all ages who will benefit from affordable, accessible transportation,” STC executive director Janice Dzigiel explained. “Consumers will enjoy flexible access to social, worship or recreation destinations, more personal autonomy, provided by an organization they know and trust, with no surprises.”

About 26 percent of North Olmsted residents are over age 60, and more than 1,700 working age residents live with a disabling condition, according to the 2014 U.S. Census estimates. The partnership will offer evening and weekend services to destinations that increase social and recreational opportunities. Project partners are North Olmsted Senior Center, Services for Independent Living and the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA), collaborating to create and promote an effective program that meets consumer demand. The 12-month project will begin booking transportation in early Spring.

Senior Transportation Connection  Since 2005, STC has provided comprehensive, coordinated, efficient and affordable transportation to seniors and adults with disabilities throughout Cuyahoga County. Cuyahoga County residents who have mobility challenges due to age, lack of access, disability, frailty or inability to drive use STC in partnership with municipalities and social service agencies. Destinations include medical appointments, including dialysis and treatment; senior centers for meals and social activities; grocery shopping and personal errands.

The National Aging and Disability Transportation Center is funded through a cooperative agreement of Easter Seals, the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, and the U.S, Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, with guidance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living. NADTC’s mission is to increase accessible transportation options for older adults, people with disabilities and caregivers nationwide.

The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) (www.n4a.org) is a 501c(3) membership association representing America’s national network of 622 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and providing a voice in the nation’s capital for the 256 Title VI Native American aging programs. The mission of n4a is to build the capacity of its members so they can better help older adults and people with disabilities live with dignity and choices in their homes and communities for as long as possible.

For nearly 100 years Easterseals (www.easterseals.com) has been the indispensable resource for people and families challenged by disabilities. We offer hands-on, vital programs through our network of affiliates to help people of all ages reach their full potential through development and life skills learning, workforce training and placement services, and fun, healthy recreation programs for children, adults, and caregivers.

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North Olmsted residents give STC Plus a spin

STC Plus, The new evening and weekend Senior Transportation Connection service, booked its first passengers in April. STC Plus, the new evening and weekend Senior Transportation Connection service, booked its first passengers in April. It offers North Olmsted residents new, accessible transportation possibilities at different times and to different places. Executive Director Janice Dzigiel explained that "Our goal is to help people connect to social, recreational and worship opportunities. We encourage people to consider group outings to a movie and dinner, or perhaps a play or shopping.  We look forward to exploring new activities and locations with our passengers."

Our first passengers

Our very first STC Plus passenger had a practical reason for calling. Joanne Holchin was reluctant to reschedule a late afternoon physician appointment. She knew it would not be finished in time, so she arranged for STC Plus to bring her home. "I am looking forward to all the places where I now can go," Joanne said. STC Plus took Linda Bokan and her son Michael to St. Richard's Church on Easter morning. Linda is a long-time rider who enjoyed attending this special day with her son. They've already booked their next outing. Thanks to a federal grant from the National Aging & Disability Transportation Center, STC Plus offers one free trip to encourage seniors and adults with disabilities to try the new service. Individuals can contact STC directly to arrange for a vehicle that meets their mobility needs, operated by a trained driver. Call today to find out how STC Plus can drive your social life.