A big part of living an independent life is being able to get where you want to go when you want to go there. This is a fact not lost on David who has become so knowledgeable about the local transportation system that he is now a member of the Public Transit Advisory Commission – a group appointed by the Columbia City Council to advise them on transit policy and safety issues affecting transit in Columbia – a role that David takes seriously.
“I get to help make important decisions on the transit system,” says David. “I was not as much involved in the routes, but I suggested things to help make the GPS system better.”
David served on the commission during some big changes as the Columbia Transit system underwent an extensive redesign – including all new routes and a name change from Columbia Transit to COMO Connect. “There are still changes happening. Columbia Transit just changed their name on Twitter,” says David, “And they are still getting the new logo on all the buses. Then it will be consistent.”
David says he’s ridden on some of the new routes and believes that they will help make the transit system more efficient. He’s especially excited about the GPS tracking system which often forms the basis of what he tweets about. “I try to tell them when the GPS isn’t working right and I make other suggestions,” says David.
David has been working with Life & Work Connections for the past three years. He lives independently in his own apartment and is currently training with Jeff Mueller, Community Skills Specialist for Life & Work Connections, on some additional goals such as weight loss, currently deriving a grocery list from a healthy weekly menu, appropriate interactions while shopping, apartment upkeep and learning to be assertive.
“David has abundant energy towards his interests, and both the challenge and joy of working with him has been learning to facilitate connecting that energy with suitable resources that further enable him to engage in a meaningful life,” says Jeff. One resource that has helped David is assistive technology. “David makes up spreadsheets and uses them for tracking his own progress. He loves anything to do with technology and always has the latest phone,” says Renee Carter, Client Services Coordinator III for Life & Work Connections. “This is a strength of his that has lead him to make progress toward his goals and has also led to the transit system position.”
David formerly worked at Alternative Community Training (ACT), but is not actively looking for a job right now. He says enjoys working on his computer and looks forward to applying for another term on the Public Transit Advisory Commission this coming spring. “I would like to be appointed for another term. I like it,” says David.
“When I heard David was offered a position on the Public Transit Advisory Commission, I was so excited that David would have an opportunity to use one of his strengths to help the community while building social capital,” says Renee. “I hope they will select him to continue, because he is truly committed to making the transit system better.”