INSPIRED IMPACT™ is an ongoing blog series that gives voice to social entrepreneurs and leaders of purpose-driven organizations who are making an impact in their communities, industries, and around the world.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
The Denver Regional Mobility & Access Council (DRMAC) addresses mobility challenges for people in the greater Denver area, including older adults, people with disabilities, and people with low incomes. DRMAC engages in a variety of programs and activities to bridge the gaps in current transit needs, existing services, and coordination for future improvements.
With that basis, our staff and Board of Directors work from a four-pronged approach: advocacy, coordination, education, and information.
We continually reach out into the community to offer our services. We are the Regional Coordinating Council and as such bring the community together. We facilitate Local Coordinating Councils in each of our area’s counties for transportation providers, users, and advocates to come together. We participate in and advocate with a wide variety of the region’s work groups, task forces, and committees, on human services and transportation needs and futures.
We partner with other human service agencies to offer a variety of training – on how to ride transit, how to qualify for assisted ride services, how to work with disabled riders. We offer instructional classes to riders and providers and users. We educate community organizations on opportunities and transit gaps. We bring agencies to the table to discuss who is doing what and how they can collaborate. Our monthly, quarterly, local, and regional meetings have presenters on many fields related to transportation and mobility.
DRMAC is, and will continue to be, the bridge between multimodal transit users, transit providers, human services, local agencies, transit advocates, and the general public.
WHY DO YOU DO IT?
We care. We care about everyone. We want people to be able to go where they WANT to go as well as where they NEED to go. We want them to be able to do that safely, efficiently, and economically. We are especially involved with the elderly, folks of low income, and the disabled, those who are often transit dependent.
WHAT IMPACT ARE YOU MAKING?
We distributed 17,562 copies of our “Getting There Guide” in English last year, more than 5,000 in Spanish, roughly 6,000 in Russian, Arabic, and Somali, and had more than 27,000 visits online to our resources there. We had more than 1,000 requests for assistance every month in 2018 and gave most of those an individualized consultation.
WHAT (OR WHO) INSPIRES YOU TO MAKE THIS IMPACT?
We know that transportation underlies quality of life – you have to get to the day care center, to the workforce center, to your job, to the grocery store, to the doctor, to your family…..we all deserve to get where we want AND need to go, when we want to go there! DRMAC wants to help that happen regardless of income, race, age, gender, ability.
WHAT’S YOUR BIG DREAM FOR THE ORGANIZATION AND THE IMPACT YOU WANT TO MAKE?
We want to have classes in every community on HOW TO – how to book a ride, how to find a ride, how to use the public transportation system, how to get around in our great region. If we had more staff, we could do more outreach. We have the knowledge – we need help to get the word out to where it is needed!
WHAT RESOURCES DO YOU NEED TO MAKE THOSE DREAMS COME TRUE?
We need more people – we need more volunteers, more funding to train them, more staff to reach more people. Every dollar we have helps more people get around and improves their quality of life.
WHAT IS (OR HAS BEEN) YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
We have been doing this work on our own for more than 10 years. We do not provide much direct service ourselves and so we have repeatedly gone to the bottom of the assistance pile. So many agencies who do provide direct service rely on us as the resource for transportation assistance and information but we get very little assistance. We want to thank the Colorado Department of Transportation who has funded us for years!
WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER LEADERS LOOKING TO MAKE AN IMPACT?
Collaborate! Find out what work impacts your work and start sharing. In the bottom line, we are all inter-related and will be much more effective if we all help each other!
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