PHILADELPHIA (April 11, 2023) – In recognition of National Autism Awareness Month, officials from SEPTA and Elwyn today announced a partnership to raise awareness about support services available to riders and SEPTA employees affected by autism.
“For those with autism in our city and region, SEPTA can be a lifeline – connecting them with jobs, healthcare, and other important resources,” said SEPTA General Manager and CEO Leslie S. Richards. “We want to make sure that individuals with autism and their families know that SEPTA is here to help them.”
Today’s announcement was made at the SEPTA’s Accessible Travel Center, which is located in Suburban Station. Staffed by occupational therapists and other specialists, the center helps seniors and persons with disabilities learn about SEPTA’s fixed-route service and how to ride the system.
SEPTA’s partnership with Elwyn will develop in three phases:
- Phase One: Provide resources to SEPTA employees so that they are familiar with the signs and symptoms of autism and can offer information on available services.
- Phase Two: SEPTA will highlight Elwyn’s resources to the public through informational signage on vehicles and at stations. SEPTA will also highlight the resources its Accessible Travel Center provides to the public.
- Phase Three: Partner with outside groups to provide training and pathways to SEPTA careers for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
“Elwyn has been committed to providing high-quality services and supports to individuals with a wide array of developmental disabilities, including Autism Spectrum Disorder, and their families for over 170 years,” said Veronica Williams, Elwyn’s Vice President of Children’s Services. “As an organization that values the communities we serve, we are delighted to partner with SEPTA to continue to improve equitable access to the community for all.”
SEPTA is dedicated to improving the customer experience for members of the disability community through infrastructure improvements that will enhance accessibility. This includes a comprehensive Wayfinding initiative that will transform how SEPTA displays key information that customers need while they are navigating the system.
“SEPTA’s Wayfinding initiative will enhance accessibility and simplify naming systems so that our expansive transit system is easier to understand and use,” Richards said. “SEPTA has made great strides in making more of the system accessible for all riders, and we are committed to building on those efforts moving forward.”
For more information about this initiative and other ways SEPTA can help disabled riders visit https://www5.septa.org/travel/accessibility/