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Are you one of 3 million Americans who miss or delay medical or eye doctor appointments because you don’t have a ride?

May 8, 2015

For Immediate Release

Contact: Lisa Wolff, Marketing & Communications Manager
lisa.wolff@itnamerica.org
207-591-6942

Are you one of 3 million Americans who miss or delay medical or eye doctor appointments because you don’t have a ride?

ITNAmericaunderstands that access to transportation can pose a serious barrier to health and wants to hear and tell your stories about transportation barriersand solutions!

PORTLAND, Maine – May 2015 – In the spirit of Healthy Vision Month, ITNAmerica wants to hear how access to transportation has either saved your vision or helped you or your loved one stay independent in the face of vision impairment or loss.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, approximately 3.6 million Americans miss or delay medical appointments every year because they don’t have a ride to the doctor. This number, of course, includes medical eyecare appointments – and routine medical eye exams can make a tremendous difference in protecting against vision loss.

The National Eye Institute, founder of Healthy Vision Month, recommends comprehensive dilated eye exams annually for anyone over the age of 60, anyone with Diabetes, and for African Americans – who are at a higher risk for glaucoma. These dilated eye exams can go a long way in diagnosing diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, and glaucoma so they can be treated before vision loss occurs. Often times, early detection happens before any noticeable symptoms.

Sometimes early detection is not an option and you experience vision loss from these diseases. Either way, transportation is very important to protecting healthy vision and to living healthy lives.

We want to hear your stories about how access to transportation has changed your life, relating to vision conditions or otherwise. The only national transportation network for seniors, the Independent Transportation Network of America, celebrates the 20th anniversary of the first ride this summer. In honor of this milestone and ITN’s dignified transportation mission, ITNAmerica Founder and President Katherine Freund is taking a 60-day cross-country road trip to broadcast these stories and gather materials for a book she will write about the people she meets, their stories, and her journey. The tour starts June 16th in Portland, Maine and ends August 14th.

Please visit www.storybooktour.org to submit your story. Like us on facebook and follow us on twitter to follow along with the tour.

If you need a ride, ITN’s Rides in Sight searchable online database (www.ridesinsight.org) and toll-free hotline (855-607-4337) provide you with details about the kind of transportation solutions available in your local community. We list 15,000 transportation providers and are adding new ones to the database all the time.

Aging and losing your ability to drive or to see does not have to mean losing your ability to live. ITNAmerica knows that first hand. Help us make it known to even more people.

About ITNAmerica

ITNAmerica® is America’s only national, non-profit, community-based transportation service for older people and people with visual impairments, providing door-through-door and arm-through-arm service. ITN began as a single transportation service in Portland, Maine nearly 20 years ago and has since grown into a network of 27 affiliated communities in 21 states from coast to coast.

About the ITN Storybook Tour

ITN’s Freund is putting her mileage where her mouth is by buckling up for the ITN Storybook Tour this summer. The 60-day cross-country road trip kicks off June 16, the day ITN gave its very first ride. Why? Sixty-four-year-old Freund wants to rally the nation to recognize the importance of mobility for people who can no longer drive, and own the solution for the next 20 years.

The ITN Storybook Tour celebrates and punctuates the spirit of volunteerism, political action, passion and endurance that will be necessary to rally the nation in support of providing sustainable senior mobility solutions at a time when it has never been more needed.

About Katherine Freund

Katherine Freund is an award-winning national expert on transportation solutions for America’s aging baby boomers who are planning for their retirement or can no longer drive. She has been featured on C-Span and in the New York Times, Forbes and Consumer Reports. Her passion for transportation safety ignited 27 years ago, when her three-year-old son was run over by an 84-year-old driver.

About Rides in Sight

Rides in Sight is ITNAmerica‘s national database providing access to more than 15,000 transportation services through a web site (www.ridesinsight.org) and toll-free hotline (1-855-60-RIDES) for older and visually impaired people.