By Cheryl Wolf
Students with disabilities are an ever-growing population that is being transported on school buses. The vast range of disabilities and severity dictate that the school bus drivers who transport these students daily have proper training.
Cheryl Wolf is a special-needs transportation specialist with nearly 30 years of experience in the school bus industry. She can be reached at [email protected] or (765) 426-9747.
The School Bus Safety Co. has created a driver training course designed specifically for those who transport our most vulnerable students. There are seven titles in the program: Legislation Overview, Transportation Challenges, Types of Special Needs, Lifts and Mobility Devices, Securement, Emergency Evacuations and Balancing Needs.
The course can be used as designed or integrated into existing training programs. Also included are a trainer’s guide, a driver/aide study guide, a driver’s job aid and a final exam.
This program is a great resource for training school bus drivers who will transport students with disabilities. It is designed to be taught over the course of a few days. To do it in one sitting would be overwhelming to the trainees due to the large amount of information that is provided.
Throughout the presentation, there are breaks for drivers to ask questions and also cover the discussion questions provided in the trainer's guide. After the course is finished, the driver’s job aid can be put on the bus as an easy reference guide and step-by-step reminder of the best practices learned for transporting students with disabilities.
This is an excellent training course, and every school district would benefit in using it to train their bus drivers to be professional, responsible and safe transporters of our students with disabilities.
For more information on the Transporting Students With Special Needs program, go here.