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Americans with Disabilities Act: The Importance of Special Needs Transportation

Americans with Disabilities Act: The Importance of Special Needs Transportation

July 23, 2023

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law in 1990. This law ensures equal rights for individuals with disabilities by prohibiting discrimination in employment, education, transportation, and other aspects of public life.

As we celebrate the ADA’s 33rd anniversary on July 26th, let’s think about what we can do to improve the lives of people with disabilities, especially children with special needs.

Students with Disabilities

According to the CDC, about 1 in 6 children aged 3 to 17 years is diagnosed with a developmental disability, including:

  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Vision impairment
  • Intellectual disability
  • Deafness or hearing loss

Obviously, this is an abbreviated list, but students with disabilities like these often face additional challenges getting to and from school every day. Their unique transportation needs often require specialized transportation services to ensure both their safety and their ability to arrive at school ready to learn. Moreover, medically fragile students may be unable to travel on the bus with their peers due to their weakened immune systems and higher risk of catching bacterial infections.

The Importance of Special Needs Transportation

Alternative student transportation enables children with disabilities to get to and from school safely. By using small-capacity vehicles, these alternative transportation solutions can be customized to meet each student’s unique needs.

Alternative student transportation can benefit special needs students in many ways.

  • Personalized experiences
    Alternative student transportation services provide special needs students with personalized experiences that meet their unique needs. Wheelchair accessible minivans, car seats, boosters, safety vests, and specialized seating arrangements help ensure every child has access to safe and comfortable rides. By providing special needs students with vehicles tailored to their unique requirements, alternative student transportation allows children with disabilities to receive the same quality of service as their peers while ensuring their safety and well-being.
  • Consistent environment
    For students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), having consistent routines creates a sense of comfort and stability in their lives. Alternative student transportation providers that use the same driver and vehicle every day provide students with a consistent environment during their school journeys, which in turn allows these children and youth to focus better during class.
  • Peace of mind for parents and families
    Unlike the traditional yellow school bus, technology-enabled alternative student transportation services can provide parents, guardians, and schools with the ability to track each child’s whereabouts in near real-time. These services allow parents and caregivers to rest assured that their children will arrive safely at their intended destination. Moreover, parents can also be notified in advance if there are any delays.

 

Helping Students With Unique Needs Get the Education They Deserve

Alternative student transportation helps students from the most vulnerable communities get the education they deserve. By partnering with alternative transportation providers, school districts can enhance student journeys while meeting each child’s unique needs.

Your students’ safety is our number one priority. Click here to learn about our safety commitment and how we ensure that every trip we serve adheres to federal, state, local, and school district transportation requirements.

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