What can I tell the drivers and aides on my special-needs buses about appropriate dress and hygiene?
The importance of professionalism is critical when transporting students with disabilities and applies to the care with which drivers and aides dress and maintain themselves, including their physical proximity with their children, the nature of their work (e.g., manuevering wheelchairs on and off lifts) and the emotional and physical sensitivities of their passengers. The following are a list of mistakes that drivers and aides should avoid making:
• Sharp jewelry or pens in pockets.
• Footwear that increases the possibility of a slip or fall. Shoes with good tread make sense for anyone working around buses and wheelchairs.
• Dangling necklaces or earrings, which young or disturbed children may grab.
• Clothes that could be provocative to children — tank tops, short shorts and tight jeans should be avoided. In addition, clothes and hats with inappropriate slogans must be avoided.
• Dangling scarves or loose clothes can get caught in wheelchair lifts or bus doors and should be avoided.
• Perfume or cologne can cause allergic reactions and should be avoided.
Source: “Transporting Children With Special Needs,” Pupil Transportation Safety Institute. For more information about the training curriculum, call (800) 836-2210 or visit www.ptsi.org.
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