In recent years, CCDC volunteer Douglas Howey has been the strength behind a lot of the CCDC transit advocacy. As a physics teacher who uses a wheelchair, he is uniquely equipped to engage in productive discussions about space on the buses and trains. Douglas was helpful in our resolution of an RTD bus services problem that was facing the disability community, and it was because of his advocacy that buses now have the area for stuff, such as groceries, right behind the securement area. As a lifelong transit user (many years before he had a disability), Douglas is a strong advocate for transit that works for everyone. Douglas was even featured in an ad for RTD about the commuter rail and light rail expansion.
Douglas also noticed that there were some safety issues with newly purchased Access-A-Ride vans; as a result, those problems are getting fixed today. Douglas is a valued member of the APAC which is RTD’s ADA paratransit advisory committee and designed a pilot online reservation program for Access-A-Ride. This new online reservation system will be very helpful for users that have limited phone minutes or speech disabilities when calling for reservations. Douglas is currently continuing to work on Access-A-Ride issues, helps CCDC advise RTD on training, and is trying to figure out a better way for buses to accommodate people who use walkers as mobility aides.
A graduate of the CCDC 8-week Basic Advocacy Training, today Douglas is a CCDC certified non-attorney advocate and CCDC Member. Transit related advocacy has become his specialty. Too often there is an assumption that low-income people with disabilities do not have anything to offer and certainly cannot be useful in high-level policy discussions or complex highly technical planning. Douglas is one of the many CCDC advocates who prove this fallacy to be wrong every day.