Residents With Disabilities Face Unique Challenges In The Arizona Heat

Published: Thursday, August 22, 2019 - 11:21am
Updated: Thursday, August 22, 2019 - 11:32am
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The Valley is no longer under an excessive heat warning, but temperatures are still expected to approach 110 degrees on Thursday.

Officials are warning residents to avoid the outdoors during the heat of the day. Brittany Hoffman with Valley Metro said her agency is also concerned about the weather.

"Safety is our number one precaution, and as we know, heat is a safety element, especially in Arizona, definitely during the summer months," she said.

Hoffman said riders are encouraged to bring water and a hat or umbrella for shade, and to get to their stop about five minutes early, to spend the least amount of time outside as possible. She added that all buses are inspected before they hit the roads, to try to minimize mechanical problems while on their routes.

"There are times with any type of vehicle that it may overheat or anything," she said. "That’s why we do these checks ahead of time, so that we’re prepared, so if there is an issue, that bus doesn’t go on the road and we pre-check another one."

Hoffman said paratransit riders can schedule their trips and pickup and drop off locations, meaning they can make sure those places have air conditioning. But riders with disabilities face a number of challenges when the temperatures rise.

For more on that, The Show was joined by Loren Worthington, vice president of communication and marketing at Ability360, who has used a wheelchair for 35 years ever since suffering a spinal cord injury.

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