Battle for a fully accessible Philadelphia

PCHR Chair Thomas H. Earle has been doing some major lifting in City Council as of late, and the hard work is paying big dividends for Philadelphia residents, and particularly those with physical or intellectual disabilities.

In February, Earle testified about the need to increase wheelchair-accessible taxicabs in the city. And late last week, the Philadelphia Parking Authority announced that 45 taxicab medallions – or sanctioned operating licenses – for the specially equipped vehicles soon will be available. The move should increase the number of accessible vehicles, often vans, by 15 per year until 150 eventually circulate in the city.

That’s a far cry from the current eight cabs used to service the tens of thousands of city residents and visitors that require a wheelchair.

The announcement followed years of advocacy and court battles, fought by organizations such as Liberty Resources Inc., where Earle is CEO, and the Disabled in Action of Pennsylvania.

And then, today, Earle returned to council chambers, this time pushing for the rights and desires of people with disabilities to remain at home, rather than be shuttled to nursing facilities.

PCHR Chair Thomas H. Earle testifies about options beyond nursing homes for the physically disabled.

PCHR Chair Thomas H. Earle (2nd from right) testifies during the state hearing on options beyond nursing homes for those with physical disabilities.

Whether it is on behalf of PCHR or Liberty Resources, Earle remains steadfast in the fight for and strengthen equal access for Philadelphians, regardless of physical or intellectual abilities.

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