A comprehensive training program for special-needs drivers that was released last year by the School Bus Safety Co. has been earning high marks from pupil transportation professionals.
The Transporting Students With Special Needs Course covers all aspects of the job, using professionally developed, blended learning techniques. It includes seven DVDs, a trainer's guide, a driver's study and reference guide, and a laminated job aid, summarizing the most important issues a driver needs to know.
"Finding new material for special needs that fits our curriculum has always been a challenge," said Diana Ormrod of Hartford County Public Schools in Bel Air, Md. "This is a wonderful course that covers every issue in transporting students with special needs."
Richard Eddington of Park City (Utah) School District said that the program "has been well thought out and put together and is a great improvement over previous materials. ... I think it is important that all bus drivers and aides that transport students with special needs get this valuable information."
The training includes an overview of pertinent legislation and addresses types of special needs, securement, transportation challenges, emergency evacuations, balancing needs, and lifts and mobility devices.
The DVDs include comments made by students with special needs and their parents, who explain what they look for from the drivers transporting their children.
For more information, go to www.schoolbussafetyco.com.