DENVER — Think about how much you rely on your mode of transportation every day. Whether it's a car, a bike, a bus, the train - we rely on transportation to help us live normal lives.
For people with intellectual and developmental disabilities however, transportation can be one of the biggest obstacles keeping them from accessing the community independently.
A couple in Denver saw that struggle, and came up with a class to teach those with disabilities how to safely and successfully use ridesharing.
Honeyman Services is a Medicaid Program Approved Service Agency (PASA) with the State of Colorado. They work with intellectually and developmentally disabled people who are transitioning out of high school and into adult services.
To address transportation issues for the disabled, the couple behind Honeyman Services began teaching its members about rideshare apps like UBER and Lyft. When it started working really well for many of their members, David and Stacey Honeyman decided there should be a whole class dedicated to teaching people with disabilities how to safely use rideshare apps.
"Having intellectual and developmental disabilities doesn't make them more vulnerable than the typical person, if they have all of the information," David Honeyman said.
So that's what they do - they give students, and in many cases parents and family members, the information on how to use rideshare apps to get to work or school, to hang out with friends, and just be more independent.
"It's independence, not only for our children but for ourselves," said mother Renee Klotzbach, whose 19-year-old daughter is taking the class. "As family members and parents, we tend to be very protective so we limit their access in ways that we don’t intend. But, they are ready and we just don’t realize it," she said.
"It’s been a big eye-opener," Klotzbach said. "This will open up a whole new world for my daughter."
Saturday was the first of three Honeyman Services Ride Share Education Program sessions this summer. The classes are free for Denver, Arapahoe and Douglas county residents. But, if you’re someone who is interested in taking the class but live outside of those counties, reach out to David and Stacey Honeyman. They say, they will work with anyone who wants to take their class.
Future Ride Share Education Program Sessions
Session 2: July 12 - 13, 2019
Hilton Garden Inn Denver Downtown
1400 Welton Street
Denver, CO 80202
Session 3: August 2 - 3, 2019
Courtyard by Marriott Denver Stapleton
7415 East 41st Avenue
Denver, CO 80216