Jodi Mitchell holds a white cane and chats with a fellow passenger while standing on a Link train.
Media Caption
Sound Transit Senior Project Manager Jodi Mitchell rides a Link train in November 2019.

Inside Sound Transit: Access and inclusion

Publish Date

On July 26, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

"The ADA, as a piece of civil rights legislation, protects against discrimination of people with disabilities," said Jodi Mitchell, chair of Sound Transit's DiverseAbilities employee resource network (ERN). "The ADA is empowering! Whether it be in accessing education, information, facilities or competitive employment, there are now laws that require equal access." 

Mitchell has been with Sound Transit for 12 years, joining the agency after working at the local nonprofit Lighthouse for the Blind.

Enacting the ADA has forced us to open our minds as to how people function in our world. 

She is a senior project manager in the Design, Engineering and Construction Management department, and the subject of this month's Inside Sound Transit feature, where we introduce you to the people working to make it easier to get to where you live, work and play. 

Mitchell joined Sound Transit because "public transportation is especially important to those of us who cannot drive and expect to live their lives independently... We’re developing a transit system that will increase mobility for everyone." 

She joined the Sound Transit DiverseAbilities group at its inception.

"There is still so much work to do toward creating a culture of inclusion and respect for diverse abilities in the workplace," she said. "Creating awareness is integral to effecting change and I do believe that people do better when they know better."

A photo of Jodi Mitchell, looking toward the camera and wearing a blue and black plaid shirt.
Jodi Mitchell finds purpose in advocating for people with disabilities.

 

Q: What do you tell your friends you do for work?

A: I’m a project manager for the regional transit authority managing large and small capital projects to enhance increased mobility around the Puget Sound. In short, I heard cats.

Q: What’s your passion outside of your job?

A: My passion outside my job is my family.  Whatever they want to share, whenever they want to share it, I’m all in! I enjoy entertaining friends and family, live music & conversation that challenge my current perspectives.

Q: What attracted you to work at Sound Transit?

A: Public transportation is especially important to those of us who cannot drive and expect to live their lives independently. Like everyone, I want to commute around town with as little hassle as possible. Sure, one might have to manage a bus or train schedule, but that’s often much less imposing than having to explain where you want to go and why. So, working at ST allows me to work on projects I can believe in. We’re developing a transit system that will increase mobility for everyone.

Q: How do you get to work (under non-pandemic circumstances)?

A: In the morning, I commute by bus from the Issaquah Highlands Park & Ride. In the evening, I commute with my husband who drives. 

Q: What three things would you take with you to a desert island (besides food and water)?

A: You won’t find me on a deserted island. I’m an indoor girl!

Jodi Mitchell walks beside a light rail vehicle, using a cane to navigate the platform.
Mitchell was an undergraduate with a hidden disability before the ADA was passed.  "I was legally blind, but there was a time in my life when my vision loss didn’t require the use of a white cane," she said.

Help celebrate the 30th anniversary of the ADA! On a social media platform of your choosing, use #ThanksToTheADA and #ADA30 to share what the ADA means to you.

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