Judith Holt: Working for the day when “all” really does mean “all”

December 7, 2017 by JoLynne Lyon

Jesien Award recipent reflects on career-long quest for inclusion for people with disabilities

Judith Holt received the George S. Jesien Distinguished Acheivement Award at the Association of University Centers on Disability conference in Washington, D.C. in November

By Dr. Judith Holt
Co-director, Utah Regional Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

I heard on the news recently that more classified files relating to the 1962 assassination of President John F. Kennedy had been released. I always associate 1962 with another significant event: I was introduced to the field of disabilities.

I was in a graduate program and we took a “field trip” to the state’s developmental school. I distinctly remember that a small group of young men were sweeping the halls. My professor told us that they were “mongoloids” and could not be part of society so they should be institutionalized. I also remember thinking that they were singing and walking and sweeping the floor—so maybe they could learn.  This disconnect between what society said and what individuals with disabilities could do was evident, even to a young graduate student over 50 years ago.

Fast forward to 1972, another university (this time in Texas), and me entering a doctoral program in special education. I was unsure about what area to specialize in, so my faculty mentor told me about a new pilot program that was federally funded to teach young children with disabilities. There were eight students in the class ranging in age from two to five years with various disabilities: visual impairment, unidentified genetic conditions, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome. I was totally captivated by the amazing children and the challenge to support them to learn and develop. Our assumption was not to focus on perceived limitations, but on what could be accomplished. The results were slow and uneven, but always moving forward. Young children with disabilities could learn to communicate (sometimes using signs and gestures rather than words) and move in their environment (with walkers and wheelchairs, and adaptive equipment) and engage in play with other children. In other words, accomplish the same tasks as children without disabilities. I became an early childhood special educator and loved it. Each child was a promise for the future and even society was moving, a little, toward more understanding. Head Start mandated that at least 10% of the children enrolled in the program needed to be those with disabilities and that was an incredible step that impacted thousands of children from families with limited incomes.

The mid-seventies also saw an amendment (Section 4) to the Vocational Rehabilitation Act that prohibited programs receiving federal funding from discriminating against individuals with disabilities. Major civil rights advocacy and legislation in the US reinforced the “separate is not equal” concept in discussions. The civil rights movement was the impetus for individuals with disabilities to also be acknowledged as having rights. On the school-aged side, the Education of All Handicapped Children’s Act (Public Law 94-142) was also moving through Congress. This introduced a key concept:  All children with disabilities ages 6-17 were entitled to a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. For the first time across the US, all children, including those with significant disabilities, had the right to attend public school! It was no longer a debate, but a right. Children could no longer be denied admittance to public schools nor, if admitted, assigned to a segregated setting. And the key point to remember about the passing of PL 94-142 was the strength, commitment, and resolve of the parents to get the education for their children that other children had. They lobbied state and federal legislators, faced incredible obstacles, and just kept on pushing. And a growing cadre of professionals agreed with them. All children deserved opportunities; all children could learn; all children needed to be educated together.

photo of a mom and son in a wheelchair

  “As a professional, I recognized that families were also my best teachers.” CPD file photo.

However, rights, even those guaranteed by law, don’t come easily. Especially when societal attitudes still saw individuals with disabilities as incompetent, dependent, and unable to be members of the community. Lawsuits and administrative rules often blocked children from public school. Public concern about the dollars spent on children who couldn’t contribute to society was routinely heard.

I spent the rest of the 1970s and the 1980s in Louisiana working primarily for the Louisiana Department of Education as we tried to implement PL 94-142 in the school systems. I came to a clearer understanding that rules and laws can help people with disabilities get the doors open, but what happens next is often problematic. I wrote state plans for federal funding and developed state laws, regulations, and monitoring systems. Hopefully they helped expand opportunities for students with disabilities. Still, parents had to be constantly vigilant to ensure that their child’s rights were upheld and that they (the parents) were treated as equal partners with professionals. Too often, parents were still told what was best for their child based on administrative convenience of the schools. Parent training and support were identified as critical to get the word out and to support parents in challenging discriminatory practices.

As a professional, I recognized that families were also my best teachers.  Families learned the most from other families who had had similar experiences. I finally understood that all of my professional expertise was not the equivalent of parenting a child 24-hours a day, year after year. I learned to listen more and offer less unsolicited opinions on what was best for the child. In other words, I worked on being a partner, not the expert.

photo of brothers, one uses a walker

“Everyone can, and does, learn and we all need people who care about us.”

Perhaps one of the most painful and poignant lessons learned was that everyone can, and does, learn and that we all need people who care about us. As part of a federal court order, children with disabilities who had been in institutions in Texas were returning to Louisiana. I was part of a team tasked by the judge to determine what they needed educationally and who should represent them. I was assigned to evaluate a 10-year old girl (I will call her Ruby) from a very rural area who had been placed in Texas by the state when her family could not care for her. She had been born with hydrocephalus and there was no medical treatment available for her. Over the years, because the fluid around the brain did not drain properly, her head had grown enormously. It took 2 adults to lift her head, one to support her neck, and one to lift her small body. She could not see, or move, or speak. Her IQ had been noted in the files as zero.

I reviewed all the records and as I was observing her, I asked two of the staff about her. They responded enthusiastically that Ruby could swallow very well and that she liked her food. Since that was the first positive thing I had read or heard about her, I asked them what she liked to do. They quickly replied that Ruby loved to go outside. With help from other staff, they carefully lifted her into a little red wagon with padding and then slowly pulled the wagon down the corridor to the doors. When the wagon reached the fresh air, Ruby smiled. The staff also wanted me to know that she loved music. I again asked them to show me. They put the cardboard from a paper towel roll up to her ear and sang softly into it. She smiled again. They had clearly found who Ruby was as a person and not just as a series of labels and deficits. I recommended to the judge that for educational purposes, Ruby’s staff should represent her. The staff, by the way, were not licensed, trained professionals. Ruby stayed in a small facility in Louisiana, closer to her family, until she passed away a few years later.

Photo of a young man with disabilities playing in the park

“Essentially, the ADA was the biggest step toward full civil rights for people with disabilities. But again, changing society would prove more difficult than changing the law.” CPD file photo.

But there were even more challenges, especially regarding adults with disabilities. In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed by Congress. We had hoped for this day for a long time. One of the biggest challenges was deciding how to define a disability.

Finally, a very broad and inclusive definition was adopted. This greatly expanded the number of individuals who would be covered by the ADA.  Essentially, the ADA was the biggest step toward full civil rights for people with disabilities. But again, changing society would prove more difficult than changing the law. Many adults with disabilities were still housed in large congregate care institutions and, if living in the community, were still with their parents and possibly working in a sheltered workshop. In other words, still segregated and still wanting to have a chance at a real life where they had choices, and where society had positive expectations for them. In an institution, choosing whether you wanted either the green or red jello is not much of a choice, and in the community, the highest hope for employment was perhaps part-time in fast food.

In 1990, I began working for the UCEDD in Arkansas. I had spent my professional career to that point working with young children who had disabilities and their families and at the state level developing policies and procedures to implement and improve programs and services for students with disabilities. With my arrival in Arkansas, my boss said that they had enough expertise in early childhood and I needed to begin to define what the needs were for adults with disabilities. I honestly thought that with the passage of the ADA, all needs would be met. I soon realized that I had a lot to learn and that there were an incredible number of obstacles that adults with disabilities faced in being part of their community, the workforce, getting health care and housing, and just accessing the programs and services. Unemployment rates for adults with disabilities were dismal, there were very, very, very limited opportunities to receive supports and services in integrated settings in the community, and social opportunities were often still almost nonexistent.

A father in a wheelchair plays with his children.

“I honestly thought that with the passage of the ADA, all needs would be met. I soon realized that I had a lot to learn and that there were an incredible number of obstacles that adults with disabilities faced in being part of their community.”

Even for those with disabilities who were well-educated, societal barriers were formidable. A friend of mine, who was completing his medical residency, still had to enter most restaurants through the kitchen door since the front doors were not accessible for someone using a wheelchair. Another friend was denied admittance to a graduate program because she was blind and the university felt that she could not handle the large campus and the academic expectations—even though she had previously worked as a Russian translator for a major government agency. During the 90’s it took an incredible amount of work on the part of advocates and advocacy organizations (including lawsuits and civil disobedience) to continue to bring public attention to issues of discrimination and inequity.

I had the opportunity to participate in both lawsuits and civil disobedience actions! I helped a group of activists who had disabilities occupy the office of then-Governor Bill Clinton to get his attention about Medicaid cuts that would force many with disabilities back into institutions. It was both exciting and stressful. We hoped the governor wouldn’t retaliate and the police wouldn’t arrest us!  Fortunately, the police didn’t have much experience in arresting folks in wheelchairs, so all ended well…. And the Medicaid cut was rescinded.

The momentum toward the rights of people with disabilities accelerated with the US Supreme Court Decision in 1996 in Olmstead v. L.C. This decision established the right of individuals with disabilities to live in integrated community settings and encouraged states to move in this direction. In fact, the Olmstead Decision was so important, the advocacy organizations across the county sponsored training for individuals with disabilities and their families to help them understand the promise of Olmstead. I had the honor to help design and support this training.

By the time I came to Utah in 2000, I had seen many changes and improvements, but there were still major barriers to “all” really meaning “all”. One of the most difficult and persistent challenges to adults with disabilities having productive, self-determined lives was obtaining health care. The barriers were both at the systemic and individual level. At the state and national level, Medicaid provided access to health care for adults with disabilities, but to qualify for Medicaid, you had to have significant disabilities and very limited income and resources. I worked with a group of advocates, state agencies, and community organizations to help Utahns with disabilities to have better employment, while still maintaining their Medicaid eligibility. In addition, outreach activities, including distance technology, were designed to reach rural and frontier populations in Utah. We focused on youth and young adults and their families to help them understand that there were opportunities to work in integrated, competitive settings and still receive Medicaid benefits. But this was a difficult concept for many families who had never expected their child to be able to work, and for professionals who worried that the adult child might lose their safety net to Medicaid and SSI benefits.

At an individual level, additional barriers were present. Health care provider’s offices and services were often not readily accessible to individuals with sensory or motor impairments. And many providers did not understand either the systems of services of people with disabilities, or recognize the importance of choices and self-determination. Families of children with disabilities and adults with disabilities were often frustrated by the benign paternalism of the health care providers—”The doctor (or therapist or nurse) knows best”— and felt that they were not being heard and that the quality of health care received was not age- or disability appropriate. For example, pediatricians often continued to see adults with disabilities who had been their patients as children. This occurred because the pediatricians felt that the adult medical providers did not want to see adults with disabilities and that the adult providers weren’t properly trained or interested in disabilities.

Holt, center, with URLEND Co-director Sarah Winter (right) and LaDawn Nielsen of the CPD.

In 2001, in partnership with the University of Utah Medical School, the Utah Department of Health, and the Utah Family Voices, the CPD submitted a grant for funding from the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau to provide leadership training for health and medical advanced standing graduate- and post-graduate students and practicing professionals. Its purpose was to better prepare them to provide interdisciplinary care to children with neurodevelopmental disabilities and special health care needs. In a highly competitive arena, the Utah Regional Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (URLEND) program was funded. Of the 31 programs then funded, it was notable in that it was the first to have long-term trainees in other states (ID, MT, ND, and WY) and the first to use distance technology for didactic, clinical, and leadership experiences.  I have had the honor of serving as the Co-Director of URLEND for the past 17 years and have been joined by over 20 highly skilled faculty from eight universities across the region. In that time, we have had over 365 long-term trainees successfully complete the program from 18 disciplines such as pediatrics, psychiatry, family practice, neurology, obstetrics/gynecology, audiology, pharmacy, health administration, pediatric dentistry, psychology, social work, genetics, speech and language pathology, education, special education, physical therapy, occupational therapy, public health, nutrition, family and human development, and law.  URLEND also has trainees who are family members of children and adults with disabilities, advocates (adults with disabilities), and community members.  URLEND is changing the perspectives and skills of health care professionals in UT and our partner states.


Photo of dozens of participants

URLEND participants with AUCD Executive Director Andy Imparato (front, fourth from left),  2017

We have also changed how rural and frontier states can actively engage professionals and students using distance technology. In addition, families and advocates from across the region have participated in URLEND as trainees, guest speakers, consultants, mentors, and faculty members.

I have over the past 50 years tried to both understand and implement the concept of “all means all.”  I have not succeeded.  So many challenges remain.  But now, society sees individuals with disabilities in visible, productive roles; housing and employment are real possibilities; and health care has improved.

We have only begun to address the mental health needs of individuals with disabilities and the intersectionality of disability and racial and ethnic diversity.  And then there is aging.  As one who is older (actually quite old), I painfully recognize that we, as a field, have not carefully considered the needs of aging adults with disabilities nor have we partnered with them to better understand quality of life issues.

So much to do, so little time.

Child Care Nutrition Program expands to new areas, serves more Utahns

November 20, 2017 by JoLynne Lyon

toddler girl eats an apple

Child nutrition is especially critical to youngsters in day care and preschool, when lifelong habits are being learned.

The Center for Persons with Disabilities’ Child Care Nutrition Program provided meals to 13,888 children in the last fiscal year. This year they are on track to serve even more, in even more parts of the state.

Director Michael Diehl wanted to both grow the program and emphasize its educational component when he started directing it in January. That’s happening now, he said, with new child care providers joining the program from Magna, Taylorsville, Murray, Herriman, Utah County and Price, Utah.

Overall, the program’s list of providers grew from 80 to 107. That’s good news to the children those providers serve. The CCNP fills a gap between providers, who work in a notoriously low-paying field, and child nutrition, which is especially critical to youngsters in day care and preschool. At a time when their brains and bodies are developing, they are often receiving 75 percent of their meals from a child care provider.

CCNP offers assistance to both home- and center-based child care providers to make nutritious meals affordable. It serves people in northern and eastern Utah. The program also educates its participants on nutrition, helping them to understand the difference between good nutrition and a well-crafted but possibly misleading label.

To find out more about the Child Care Nutrition Program, or to learn how to sign up, visit their website or call the number below.

"To find out more about the Child Care Nutrition Program, call 1-800-540-2169.




Judith Holt recognized for a lifetime of leadership

November 14, 2017 by Kelly Smith

In a room packed with colleagues, advocates, and family members at the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Honors Celebration in Washington, D.C., Dr. Judith Holt was presented the George S. Jesien Distinguished Achievement Award on November 7. The award recognizes “a distinguished career of excellence and leadership in support of AUCD’s mission to advance policy and practice for and with people living with developmental and other disabilities, their families and communities”.

Jesien, a former AUCD Executive Director, presented the award in a powerful speech outlining Holt’s impressive achievements, stating “Judith Holt is a quiet leader whose full impact can only be seen by the tracks she has left throughout many states in this country, and the brilliant manner in which she has pulled together partners…. She has championed unserved, underserved, cultural and ethnically different groups, promoted students and created change for untold numbers of individuals.”

Judith Holt accepting the George S. Jesien Distinguished Service Award

Judith Holt accepting the George S. Jesien Distinguished Service Award

Holt’s career in the AUCD network spans decades, including time as the Associate Director at the University of Arkansas, 15 years as the Director of Interdisciplinary Training at the CPD, and a recent two-year stint as CPD interim Executive Director. She is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation at USU and is an adjunct professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Utah Medical School Health Sciences Center.

Jesien also cited Holt’s leadership in the Utah Regional Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (URLEND) program which she helped establish in 2001 as a model multi-state LEND collaborative, providing LEND training across the rural West using a variety of training modalities and distance education tools to reach trainees and practitioners who would not otherwise have access to interdisciplinary training experience. For the past decade, Holt has served as the Co-Director of the URLEND program and her colleagues agree that the success and growth of the program is largely the result of her outreach efforts and ability to facilitate large interdisciplinary teams of faculty and students.

An anecdote submitted by current CPD director, Dr. Matt Wappett nominating Holt for the award tells the following story. “Judith originally had a background in early childhood, but her introduction to the UAP [currently UCEDD] system in the early ‘90’s forced her to take on a more flexible attitude. One of Judith’s initial assignments at the University of Arkansas was to support the very active independent living movement in the state. Judith’s first project was to work with Richard Petty and Mainstream, an advocacy‑oriented center for independent living in Little Rock, to orchestrate a protest of then Governor Bill Clinton’s proposed cuts to Medicaid in the state of Arkansas. She helped activists occupy Governor Clinton’s office and chain themselves to his desk. Judith was the go-between, and surreptitiously sneaked in food and water for the activists in her kids’ school backpacks for the duration of the protest. This experience became the jumping off point for Judith’s enduring commitment to the independent living movement.”

the first function of leadership is to produce more leaders and not just followers.

Referencing a quotation from Ralph Nader as the perfect description of Holt’s work, Jesien closed his remarks, “‘The first function of leadership is to produce more leaders and not just followers.’ Judith Holt has, and I hope will continue to leave a trail of new leaders everywhere she sets foot.”

During Holt’s acceptance speech, she took the opportunity to emphasize the importance of full inclusion, “I think the most remarkable thing I’ve learned in this network is how important the word ‘all’ is. All means all people, all ages, all races and ethnicities. It doesn’t just mean a select few…we are partners with all of the folks who are looking for the same kind of things in our lives, in community participation, and in happiness.”

Holt and George S. Jesien with award trophy. Second photo showing Holt onstage with an ASL interpreter during her acceptance speech.


Linda Keith honored for work as community volunteer

November 13, 2017 by JoLynne Lyon

photo of Linda Keith

Linda Keith is a volunteer with the Public & School Partnership at the CPD.

Linda Keith received the Lieutenant Governor’s Power of Service award last week. A longtime volunteer with the Senior & Community Volunteer Program, her spirit of service has touched the lives of many people in Cache Valley.

The award is given through the Lieutenant Governor’s Office to three Utahns a year.

Keith’s volunteer work suits her; she described herself as a natural “gabber” who enjoys talking to people whether she is delivering Meals on Wheels, staffing the store at Global Village Gifts or driving the Veteran’s Administration van.

Meals on Wheels requires its delivery volunteers to make contact with the people who receive the meals, Keith said. The conversation is optional, but if the person receiving the meal is game, so is she. As a world traveler Keith has seen the need for people in developing countries to bring in an income and be paid fairly for their work. Since Global Village is a Fair Trade Federation member, she knows the craftswomen who have made the wares sold in the store are paid fairly, and quickly. She is happy to donate her time to the cause.

She also drives the VA van, ensuring that veterans get to their medical appointments. She not only drives them to and from the VA hospital, but also waits for them until all the visits are done. “You never know how long it will be,” she said. “I love it when they get talking about their service.”

Photo of the Keiths and Cox

Linda and John Keith with Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox

Rodney Pack, the Senior & Community Volunteer Coordinator at the CPD, was delighted that Keith was recognized. “Linda is always willing to help,” he said. “She’s willing to try anything and step outside herself. She feels strongly about giving back.”

The Senior & Community Volunteer Program has recently moved its focus around education, with volunteer opportunities in selected schools, the Cache Refugee & Immigrant Connection, CAPSA, Bear River Head Start, Stokes Nature Center, the Utah Conservation Corps and Somebody’s Attic. For more information on volunteer opportunities available through the community and senior volunteer program, visit their website. For information on how you can help your local volunteers with their current coat drive, see the details below–and hurry, because the deadline is soon!

The Senior & Community Volunteer program is part of the Public & School Partnership in the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University.

Donate your gently-used coats Support your local Community & Senior Volunteers! Many families whose children attend Bridgerland Elementary have very modest income, and providing winter clothing is always a struggle. Gently used coats can be dropped off at these locations by Wednesday, November 15: • CPD on the USU campus • Bridger Elementary , 1261 N. 400 W., Logan • Senior Center at 240 N. 100 E., Logan Thank you for your help—and for caring about others!

CPD disability tech advocate: it’s time to talk about autonomous vehicles

November 3, 2017 by JoLynne Lyon

photo of car headlights painting long lines on a night road

“It is encouraging that the auto industry is continuing to engage us in the conversation,” says the CPD’s Sachin Pavithran. “But I hope people with disabilities are not left behind yet again.”

The day of the fully autonomous vehicle is approaching much faster than most people realize. Like other new technologies, it will be disruptive. Amid the many voices that are shaping the driverless future, Dr. Sachin Pavithran at the Center for Persons with Disabilities urges accessibility.

Pavithran said the fully-autonomous car will likely be on roads within five years. Indeed, much of the technology is available now. Autonomous and semi-autonomous cars are already being tested in several cities. “The whole debate is, how much are they paying attention to the accessibility interface?” asked Pavithran.

He has been involved in discussions about the upcoming technology, serving as a disability advocate in talks with industry leaders and policymakers. He chairs the National Federation for the Blind’s Autonomous Vehicles and Innovations in Transportation committee. Now, he said it is time for people with disabilities in their communities to join the conversation.

Manufacturing issues

“When the indicators are that fully autonomous vehicles are expected on our roads within the next five years, it makes me wonder why we haven’t seen a prototype of an accessible autonomous vehicle yet,” Pavithran said. “Conversations continue about making accessibility a priority when designing these vehicles. Promises are being made by the auto industry that autonomous vehicles will change the lives of all for the better, including people with disabilities. It is encouraging that the auto industry is continuing to engage us in the conversation. But I hope people with disabilities are not left behind yet again.”

The possibilities of driverless transportation are exciting. While Uber and Lyft have raised hopes that affordable, individual travel may soon be a reality for non-drivers everywhere, it hasn’t happened yet. Autonomous vehicles could open more opportunities by eliminating an enormous hurdle: a driver who is willing to travel roads where few passengers go.

“A lot of people with disabilities choose where they live and where they look for a job, based on transportation,” Pavithran said. He is the director of the CPD’s Utah Assistive Technology Program at Utah State University—and he is blind. While his travel schedule is rigorous, his independent movement is still somewhat restricted. “If I wanted to live in Garden City [Utah], that wouldn’t be an option for me,” he said. Transportation would be too great a challenge.

Driverless vehicles could change that. Disability advocates dream that tomorrow’s vehicles will roll off the assembly line, ready for people with disabilities to use: no wheelchair ramps or after-market adjustments required. Once fully autonomous cars are available, there is no reason blind people should not use them, Pavithran said. They could be configured so that a driver who was unable to safely operate a vehicle would not be able to do more than change the radio station once the car was in motion.

“Historically, accessibility has been a costly post-purchase vehicle modification for most people with disabilities, and nonexistent for the blind,” said Mark Riccobono, president of the National Federation of the Blind. He was quoted in a press release celebrating a meeting between the NFB and the Auto Alliance. He praised the gathering between people with disabilities, auto industry representatives, ride-sharing providers and policymakers as an exciting step in making accessibility a priority, not an “afterthought.”

Policy considerations

photo of Sachin Pavithran

Sachin Pavithran

Pavithran has met with policymakers, including US Transportation Secretary Elaine A. Chao, discussing the regulatory barriers the technology faces. A patchwork of state and federal regulations govern whether the cars should be allowed on roads. “Every state is issuing their own idea about how this is going to look in their state,” he said.

Indeed, 35 states either have considered or are considering legislation regarding autonomous vehicles. Utah is one of them.

Highways, licensing and safety regulations are often handled at the state level. Disability advocates want to make sure that when cars truly can drive people, those with disabilities will not face discrimination.

Infrastructure changes would also be needed, including a more robust data network for the driverless vehicles to access. Pavithran was quick to say that data could be handled wirelessly, and that it would only be one factor used by the cars to navigate. “There are a lot of sensors on the cars, and every manufacturer is trying different approaches. …The data is just one piece.”

Consumer resistance

A further barrier is resistance from consumers. A 2017 survey from AAA found that 78 percent of drivers were nervous about riding in a fully autonomous vehicle, despite assurances that when developed, the cars will be safer than their human-driven counterparts.

“Getting the public comfortable with the idea is going to be challenging,” Pavithran said.

Changes on the job landscape

He predicts that the first industries to adopt driverless technology will be ride share services, public transportation and delivery services—and that could mean lost jobs.

“There’s no stopping that,” said Pavithran. In the last century, horse-drawn vehicles became obsolete and the industry around them went away. Trains stopped being the primary source of transportation for people moving between cities. More disruption will occur because of autonomous vehicles, but the possibilities they bring could also mean increased employment opportunities for people with disabilities, who will no longer be tied down to life and work in urban centers.

“People need to start engaging in the conversation about what it means to the community, and what it means to them,” Pavithran said.

For him, it means an added freedom. With autonomous cars, “I could choose where I live.”