Special Needs

Travel Training: Teaching Independence

With all the facets involved with the training drivers and monitors on special needs, its should be no surprise that there is one type of training that involves not only the transportation department, but the students, their parents and public transit agencies. Travel training, as it is commonly known, teaches individuals with disabilities to use public transportation independently. In New York City, the department of education’s (DOE) program helps its students make a transition from the yellow bus to the many different options available, whether it be the subway, city bus or dial-a-ride.

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Bus Drivers Need to Understand the Difficulties of Tourette’s Syndrome

People pass judgment before they know the whole story. For example: A new student is added to one a route, and the driver immediately notice there is something different about him or her. The child may twitch nervously in their seat, or they may blurt out inappropriate comments without cause. What appears to be bad behavior is sometimes something that is uncontrollable, often times a disorder commonly referred to as Tourette’s syndrome.

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In the Rearview Mirror: 2006 in Review Part II

This installment of “Through the Rearview Mirror” focuses on cases involving special needs transportation.

Maneuvers and Equipment
A Colorado district’s decision to transfer a student to a Convaid model stroller for transportation was upheld in Boulder Valley Public Schools, 106 LRP 39908 (March 7, 2006). A stand-pivot-transfer maneuver to a bus seat was not successful for this student, and threatened his safety and that of transportation employees. The hearing officer found that FAPE does not require the district to maximize the student’s potential via transportation, but only to provide access to the educational program.

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In the Rearview Mirror

A review of 2007 legal cases affecting school transportation

Part II

This segment of “In the Rearview Mirror” focuses on legal issues related to the employment context. Although the brief summaries below can seldom tell the “whole story,” school districts and transportation companies should note recurrent themes:

• When reasonable action would be likely to stop dangerous behavior by students, responsible personnel must take available steps.
• Supervisory personnel are responsible for implementation of federal rulesregarding wage and hours compliance and avoidance of discrimination — training is essential.
• Although complaints may not be sub- stantiated, when employee concerns are brought to the attention of super- visors, they must be investigated.
• Policies that support student safety must be communicated and enforced.

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