OSU Hosts Accessible Transportation Conference


PORTLAND, Ore. – Improving access to public transportation is the focus of a two-day fall conference hosted by Oregon State University's National Center for Accessible Transportation.

The State of the Science Conference on Accessible Transportation begins Oct. 31 in Portland. Conference details are available online at http://ncat.oregonstate.edu/news/SOS.htm or by calling 800-916-0099.

Conference topics focus on issues in accessible intercity public transportation, identification of current knowledge gaps and future research needs, and encouraging interaction between industry, government and advocacy groups, said Katharine Hunter-Zaworski, center director and OSU associate professor of civil engineering.

The conference is of particular interest to travelers with disabilities, researchers, transportation providers, equipment manufactures, policy makers and product designers, Hunter-Zaworski said.

The center's theme – Universal Design for Universal Access – is reflected in conference topics, including new and more accommodating vehicle design features; federal legislation for accessible transportation; emerging technologies to smooth out transitions in travel; new passenger assistance training; and biomechanics of transfers in confined spaces and other topics.

The format includes plenary sessions, short podium presentations and interactive discussions.

"A goal of the conference will be to develop an agenda for future directions in research, policy, and product development based on user needs for accessible transportation," Zaworski said.