Self-Advocacy: Zaimah's Story

Self-advocates and parents at the Minnesota capitol.

Dear Minnesota Legislators,

My name is Zaimah. I live in the city of Plymouth, MN in an apartment supported by Hammer Residences because I have an intellectual disability. I am a good mom to my daughter and a hard worker. I feel proud when I can work and help provide for myself and my daughter.

Because of my disability I cannot drive. There are some resources available to me (like Metro Mobility or Dial-A-Ride) but they are not always reliable or predictable and they have many restrictions. I have lost several jobs because of being late to work or for not being able to work a shift that occurred at a time when Metro Mobility is not in operation (they aren’t operating after 8:30 at night or before 6:30 am.) Sometimes, I took the city bus but I have to pay for that and I have a very limited budget. Also it is not practical or safe for me to travel all the way downtown in order to catch a bus that will take me back to this area. There aren’t any direct routes.

When I worked at HomeGoods in Plymouth, MN, it could take me an hour to get to work. Sometimes I was late, because the bus came within a half-hour window time frame. I live less than five miles away from HomeGoods. In a car, it takes only nine minutes to get from my apartment to HomeGoods. I was terminated because my transportation was limited and unreliable and that did not help me build a good reputation as the worker I would like to and can be. It was very frustrating.

Sometimes, my staff can give me a ride. However, if a staff person gives me a ride somewhere that means they will be short staffed back at the apartments where I live and where my daughter is also served by Hammer (she lives with me.)

Please support any efforts to improve transportation issues for people with disabilities. Thank you!