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The Ability Center of Greater Toledo, a non-profit Center for Independent Living (CIL) located in Sylvania, Ohio has recently developed a new coalition denoted “Disability and Aging Passenger Rail Committee,” or DARC for short. As a Center for Independent Living, The Ability Center’s Advocacy Department works towards addressing systemic issues that limit individuals with disabilities’ ability to access vital areas of community life. Public transit is one such vital area that ultimately determines whether or not an individual with a disability will have access to transportation options that allow them to get to work, visit family and friends, go to medical appointments, partake in recreational activities, etc., Not surprisingly then, when the opportunity to get involved with passenger rail advocacy arose this year with the historic funding made possible through President Bidens Infrastructure Law, the Advocacy Department at ACT began plans to create a disability and aging focused coalition.

The disability community in Ohio relies on the accessibility and availability of public transit; however, due to the lack of funding and limitations on distances and locations of current systems, Ohioans with disabilities continue to suffer without full access to Ohio’s communities. Therefore, the goal of DARC is to focus advocacy efforts around increasing passenger rail connections across NW Ohio and ensuring the accessibility of the system once in the design process.

If you are interested in advocating for increased passenger rail connections across NW Ohio to create a fully accessible multimodal public transit system in Ohio, consider joining our coalition! It is open to the public, and we encourage anyone and everyone to be a part of advocating for the revitalization of Ohio’s public transit system! Learn more by emailing: or by phone at: (419) 885-5733 ex: 244



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The momentum of our organization is undeniable. We have experienced state-wide successes in our advocacy for improved passenger rail services. But just as exciting is the growth we are seeing at a grassroots level in regions across Ohio. AAO has active chapters in Southwest, Central, Northeast and Northwest Ohio. Across the state, we have meetings, social events and grassroots opportunities for our members to get involved!

Over the past six months, I have had the pleasure of helping to lead the Southwest Ohio chapter of AAO. After a covid hiatus, we brought back in person meetings to our region. As our community has grown, new opportunities for impact have presented themselves.

Last month, our chapter took a tour of Union Terminal, the Amtrak station in Cincinnati. After our tour, members of the chapter brainstormed needed improvements for ridership experience. We decided it would be valuable to improve signage, provide ticketing solutions and improve the website. Following our brainstorm, chapter leaders met with Amtrak representatives to discuss these recommendations. The activity of our members is leading directly to achieving our AAO mission: To advocate for the establishment, improvement and maintenance of a robust transportation system focusing on passenger rail.

As we turn the page into 2024, more opportunities will arise. We have an exciting year ahead of us, with the potential for significant movement on the Corridor ID and Long-Distance programs. We will need the involvement of our members to achieve our goals. You can help by educating your neighbors, elected officials and community leaders. You can help us build our organization, attend chapter meetings and social events, participate in discussions, and help to plan events. Finally, you can share your specific talents with the organization. If you have a skill that you think could help AAO, please reach out to your regional director. We would love to get you more involved!

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Join us for our Statewide meeting on Saturday, November 11th for a sneak peek at our economic impact study that will detail the impact that the 3C&D will have on the local and state economies.

You MUST REGISTER by clicking here to receive the Zoom link!

AAO Regional Chapter Meetings:

NORTHWEST CHAPTER: Friday, November 10 at 3:00 p.m. at the Toledo Amtrak Station (3rd Floor, 415 Emerald Ave, Toledo, OH) No RSVP is necessary.

CENTRAL OHIO CHAPTER: Saturday, November 18 at 10:00 a.m. at the Grandview Heights Public Library (1685 W. First Ave, Columbus, OH). No RSVP is necessary.

SOUTHWEST CHAPTER: Wednesday, November 29 at 6:00 p.m. at the Walnut Hills Library (2533 Kemper Ln, Cincinnati, OH) AND via Zoom. Please click here to RSVP.

NORTHEAST CHAPTER: Cleveland RTA Rail Maintenance Facility Tour Friday, December 1 at 2:30 p.m. at the RTA Facility, 6200 Grand Ave, Cleveland OH. Click here to register.

To see future meeting dates and other events, please visit

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