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Posted on January 9, 2024 at 11:00 PM by Jennifer Hirsch
Jim Maloney values his independence. He lives on his own in the Quad Cities and uses a power wheelchair to get around.
“I work hard to show people that those with disabilities are just like everyone else,” Jim said. “I’m open about my abilities, and I will always answer people’s questions.”
Because he has cerebral palsy, Jim relies on aides to help him dress and get ready for the day. But he creates his own busy schedule – from work, to meeting friends for lunch and getting to his many volunteer projects. As a daily rider, Metro keeps him on time and on the move.
“Metro drivers are top notch,” he said. “They are well trained but also really compassionate about what they do. They go above and beyond to help me.”
All of Metro’s fixed routes are entirely accessible to individuals with disabilities, and buses are equipped with ramps and other features to easily accommodate wheelchairs. Jim says he appreciates the innovative technology, like the restraint system that locks his wheelchair in place with the touch of a button.
“Because of Metro, I can be an active, involved member of the community,” he explained. “I need help to live my daily life, and that’s why it’s important to me to give back through volunteering.”
As a receptionist for Arc of the Quad Cities area, he connects callers with community resources. Through his volunteer work for organizations like the American Red Cross, he’s developed great admiration for those who serve others, especially men and women in law enforcement. That’s why he’s considering going back to school for his master’s degree in social work. One thing is for sure – Jim won’t be slowing down anytime soon.
“It’s only because of Metro that I can be as active as I want to be,” he said. “I even train my friends to use Metro – it’s a piece of cake!”
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