- Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 May 2014 14:59
When it comes to providing opportunities to people with disabilities, Westchester County is committed to doing everything it can.
The Office for the Disabled is here to answer your questions, provide assistance or direct you to resources.
Equal Access Westchester
Equal Access Westchester, a new program and Web site launched March 2013, promotes accessibility for people with disabilities throughout Westchester County. It is a unique partnership between the Westchester Independent Living Center and four Westchester County organizations. The Equal Access Westchester Web site provides information on accessible transportation, dining, shopping, lodging, and recreation venues in Westchester County; ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) information; tax incentives for businesses; and Westchester County's Livable Communities Initiative.
Disability Resource guide
The office maintains an online, comprehensive Disability Resource Guide to provide people with disabilities, their families and caregivers a convenient and accessible means of finding services throughout Westchester County.
A ParaTransit system is available by reservation for those who cannot use the regular buses. Reservations can only be made for those who have been pre-approved to use the service.
The "Bee-Line Taxi" program has been expanded. In addition to White Plains (Intrepid Taxi), two additional cities being served are Peekskill (Act Now Taxi) and New Rochelle (Blue Bird Taxi). The program gives ParaTransit riders the option to take a taxi instead of the traditional ParaTransit vehicle.
The regular ParaTransit fare is the same fare for this taxi service, $4.00 per one-way trip. Riders from throughout Westchester County may use the taxi service, but only for trips within the cities of White Plains, Peekskill and New Rochelle. Riders can schedule a taxi ride in exactly the same way as a van ride.
Travel training program
The county offers a travel training program that teaches people with developmental disabilities to use the regular Bee-Line buses along with a reduced fare fee structure for those who qualify. The Office for the Disabled received Westchester Arc's 2011 Public Partnership Award for professionalism in running the county's ParaTransit system. ParaTransit is key in making Westchester accessible to so many of our citizens with disabilities.
Special needs registry
If you, or someone you know, might require additional assistance to leave home during an emergency, consider registering with the Special Needs Registry. The registry is for individuals with physical or mental disabilities who live on their own. The database will be provided to local municipalities to use in their emergency planning efforts.
Sign language interpreters
The Office for the Disabled arranges for sign language interpreters, works with municipalities to provide handicapped parking stickers, and hosts various events such as the Annual Achievement Awards Breakfast and Annual Day at Playland in June.
The county’s first baseball field, designed specifically for kids with disabilities, is located at Ridge Road Park in Hartsdale. The field is the result of a partnership between Westchester County and the Miracle League, a national non-profit organization, which aims to make baseball accessible to every child, regardless of disability. Additionally, 500 plus adults are able to play on the special, rubberized turf field in the Miracle Adult League.
The office also ensures that the county is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act that guarantees basic civil rights to everyone.