Measuring the transportation needs of people with developmental disabilities: A means to social inclusion

Rania Wasfi, Madeleine Steinmetz-Wood, David Levinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background One of the major causes of social exclusion for people with developmental disability (PDD) is the inability to access different activities due to inadequate transportation services. Objective This research paper identifies transportation needs, and reasons for unmet, but desired untaken trips of adults with developmental disabilities in Hennepin County, Minnesota. We hypothesize that PDD cannot make trips they want to make due to personal and neighborhood characteristics. Methods A survey measuring existing travel behavior and unmet transportation needs of PDD (N = 114) was conducted. The survey included both demographic and attitudinal questions as well as a travel diary to record both actual and desired but untaken trips. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine reasons associated with their inability to make desired, but untaken trips. Results Most respondents did not live independently. More than half of the surveyed population worked every day and recreation trips occurred at least once a week for about two-thirds of the population. About 46% were unable to make trips they needed to make. Public transit posed physical and intellectual difficulties, however the presence of public transit in neighborhoods decreased odds of not making trips. Concerns about Paratransit services were also reported. Conclusion Findings from this study can be of value to transportation engineers and planners interested in shedding light on the needs of a marginalized group that is rarely studied and have special transport needs that should be met to ensure their social inclusion in society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)356-360
Number of pages5
JournalDisability and Health Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Inc.


  • Accessibility
  • Developmental disability
  • Disability
  • Disadvantaged population
  • Mobility
  • Social inclusion
  • Transportation needs


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