On the Move

New mobility tram allows visitors with disabilities to join TMMI tours

August 02, 2017
People Mover -- A new mobility tram at TMMI allows visitors who use wheelchairs to take the plant tour and see where Highlanders, Sequoias and Siennas are manufactured.

Every year, over 15,000 people tour the Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana, (TMMI) plant to see how Highlanders, Sequoias and Siennas are produced. But not everyone could enjoy the tours — until now.

TMMI is one of three Toyota manufacturing plants adding a new mobility tram, allowing people who use wheelchairs to take part in the tours. The new tram has a ramp so visitors can guide their wheelchairs onto the cart. And there’s room for family members to ride along with them.

Trams also are being added at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas, (TMMTX) and Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, (TMMK).

“This mobility tram expands TMMI’s ability to be more inclusive for all visitors to see our team members in action,” says External Affairs Manager Karen Johnston.

The tram complements mobility initiatives that are already underway at TMMI.

Inclusive Workforce -- TMMI is partnering with the Arc of Gibson County to provide people with disabilities opportunities to work at the plant and with other service providers.

Since 2014, TMMI has partnered with the Arc of Gibson County, which helps provide development and job opportunities for people with disabilities. Sixteen positions are available to Arc clients who work in different parts of the plant where they subassemble parts.

TMMI and the Arc have taken the partnership to the next level by transitioning workers into “competitive employment” roles with an onsite supplier Superior Maintenance Corporation over the next year. This initiative is expanding to other service providers in the future.

The goal is to continue to expand opportunities for those living with disabilities in the Southwest Indiana community.

Our environment at TMMI is one of inclusion, encouraging people from all backgrounds to come together to form a company where opportunities are provided for personal growth, realizing personal abilities and fairly compensating all individual contributions,” says Ted Brown, assistant general manager, Quality Control Engineering, who also leads ToyotAbility, a business partnership group.

Three times a day, five days a week, the tour tram works its way through the TMMI plant. And now everyone can enjoy the tour and maybe even catch a wave from the friendly Arc workers who appreciate the chance to be part of the TMMI team.

By Karen Nielsen

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