Man seeks transportation for the disabled
Ted Nagel sees life from a different perspective. As the general manager of the 4CSon Independence Center in Gardnerville, he is in charge of coordinating employers and disabled employees – finding work for the disabled and workers for area businesses. So far, so good.
But one of the largest hurdles he’s discovered in the last year or so of running 4CSon, is something Nagel is trying to either break down or build a bridge over – transportation.
“We have a lot of clients in Carson City who would like to come here to work for us in the workshop, but they just can’t get here,” he said. “There’s a real need for some sort of area-wide transportation system that they can tap into.”
Nagel recently presented his proposal, “Area Wide Transportation – the unmet need,” to a Douglas County Commission meeting after hearing about the county’s $800,000 surplus.
“They pretty much said, ‘We’ve already decided where we’re going to spend the money,'” Nagel said.
Undaunted, he again presented the project, this time to the Regional Transportation Commission at Lake Tahoe and there he found encouragement for his proposed two vans and one minibus transportation project.
“I told them, if the needs (of the whole community) aren’t being met by their 5-year transportation plan – and I believe they are not – then I have some ideas,” he said. “They were receptive and said they’d like to sit down and discuss it with me. I’m hoping to get together with some of them this week.”
n What’s needed to start. Nagel’s start-up cost estimates, and the amount he requested from the county, is $50,000, which would cover six months of the area-wide transportation system.
“This doesn’t even cover the vehicles, which I’m hoping to get donated,” he said.
Nagel hopes to serve not only his clients, but also senior citizens, low income residents and any other groups that might emerge needing the system as time goes on.
The service would not be free, according to the current proposal, but would be affordable. The system would basically cover the whole county, interfacing with other communities’ (Carson City, South Lake Tahoe) systems at the borders.
n Unique vantage point. Nagel, 40, the youngest of eight children, was born with a rare birth defect – arthro-gryposis multiplex congenita.
“No one knows too much about it because it is so rare,” he said. “There are an estimated 1 in 3 million with my condition. I’ve only met a few people who have it.”
Nagel said he walked with leg braces as a child, but when he was in college he broke his ankle severely and hasn’t walked since.
n Can’t meet the goal. 4CSon has as its stated goal, “helping those with special needs achieve and maintain independence and a greater quality of life and helping individuals with physical or mental limitations as well seniors to be active in their community while providing a means of self-support.”
If transportation is not available for 4CSon’s disabled clients, and they can’t get to work, the goal cannot be met.
Nagel said he doesn’t necessarily want 4CSon to get in the transportation business, he just wants to spotlight the need that disabled individuals face in trying to get from home to work and back again.
“I am more than interested in talking with anyone who might have any ideas or funding to make this happen,” he said.
4CSon Independence Center is located at 1187-A High School St. in Gardnerville. For more information, call 783-0029.
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