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RAISE The Standard, March 2024, v.10 n.4

RAISE (The National Resources for Access, Independence, Self-determination and Employment (RAISE) Technical Assistance Center) logo

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young hispanic man on a bus in a wheelchair smiling as he is turning around to fact the viewer

Getting There: Mobility Training and Education for Independence

Choice. Control. Freedom. Autonomy.

These are the outcomes we all want to see as a result of effective transition planning. For youth and young adults with disabilities, this means learning to get around their homes, schools, workplaces, and communities as independently as possible.

Both the ADA and the IDEA provide individuals with disabilities, their families, school systems, service providers, community agencies, and transit systems with compelling incentives to work together to ensure that individuals with disabilities learn how to use accessible transportation. Travel training — sometimes called Mobility Training — teaches an individual with disabilities how to move within and around their community, often through the use of public transportation. Instruction in mobility can increase the individual's independence, self-esteem, and self-reliance.

In this issue of RAISE The Standard, we will explore what it takes to help youth with disabilities get into “the driver’s seat” and manage their own mobility.


When it comes to transportation and mobility, the concerns of youth with disabilities around the world center on safety, access, and independence. In these videos, we hear perspectives from youth in Great Britain and Ottawa, Canada about their “journey” to greater independence.

Picture of Jack in front of the tram he takes

In this short video produced by Nottingham City Council, we follow Jack as he makes his way from his home to his school. Click here to access the video.

Picture of Natasha in front of the bus she is learning how to use.

Here, we follow Natasha, who is deaf, as she learns skills to navigate her community with safety and confidence. Click here to access the video.

Picture of Matthew riding the bus in Kirklees UK

In this video produced by Kirklees Council in the UK, we follow two young men, Martin and Matthew, as they gain confidence and skills. Click here to access the video.

Picture of Daniel riding the bus with his friend.

Click here to access a video that follows Daniel as he uses public transportation around his home city of Ottawa.


Woman with limited vision using a Mobility cane as she approaches a waiting bus.

Accessible Transportation

In this webinar, Access Matters, viewers learn more about accessibility issues when using transportation services. It covers issues such as rider assistance, tie downs, straps, and traveling with oxygen or a respirator. While many of the participants in the video are older adults, the information and strategies are relevant to school aged youth. Click here to access the video.

Getting to School: Transportation Services Under IDEA

Transportation is a related service as defined by 34 CFR §300.34(c)(16) of the IDEA regulations. It can include travel to and from school and between schools; travel in and around school buildings; and specialized equipment such as specially modified vans, buses, lifts, and ramps. A child’s individualized education program (IEP) team is responsible for determining both if transportation is required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education and related services, and how the transportation services should be implemented.

If a student needs specialized supports and services to be successful in the classroom, it’s likely they need similar services and supports during transport. Whether they are nurse services for medications or medical devices, sensory accommodations, or behavioral supports, if it’s required in the classroom, then the IEP should include a specific line allotting time (commonly categorized as either direct or consultation minutes/hours) and assigning responsibility for those services during transport. Typical needs might consist of a one-on-one aide, child safety restraint systems, sound protection, communication devices, a positive behavior reward system, occupational therapy services, a sensory toolkit and more. This 2009 Q&A, while dated, is still an accurate summary of requirements around the provision of transportation.

Click here to access the Q&A on Transportation.

We love this article about the role of school transportation professionals:


Tools that Work icon wioth hammer and screwdriver

Safe Route to Schools

Getting TO and FROM school can be a great way to learn safety skills and mobility skills. This curriculum, produced by Safe Routes Partnership, offers guidance for communities on how to plan for including students with disabilities in Safe Routes to School. They unpack the “Six Es”: Education, Encouragement, Engineering, Enforcement, Evaluation, and Equity.

Click here to access the resource guide.

young man with Downs syndrome receiving directions from a bus driver on where to catch the next bus.

Travel Training

Transit agencies have used travel training programs to bridge the learning gap for new riders, including those with disabilities. Travel training can give new riders the skills to:

•   Understand trip planning software

•   Read route maps and schedules

•   Locate bus and train stops

•   Flag down buses

•   Calculate and pay fares

•   Obtain and use transit passes

•   Recognize when the desired stop has been reached

•   Indicate to the bus driver to stop

•   Obtain service updates

•   Use mobility devices safely on vehicles

•   Tell if a vehicle is equipped for mobility devices

Click here for a playlist of a range of videos on travel training in several languages.


Video still from Greater Cleveland RTA of simulated theft incident on a public bus.

Sometimes, the best way to make your point is to say nothing at all. In this short video produced by the Greater Cleveland RTA, viewers learn about safety on public transportation and how sometimes, talking with other riders can put you at risk. Click here to access the video.

Here are some basic safety tips

  • Let someone know where you are going and when you will be back.
  • Travel light and do not carry cash or valuables. If you do have things with you, try to keep personal items on your lap, and hold handles to luggage, backpacks, or handbags.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and who is near you.
  • Avoid speaking to strangers, especially to those who seem overly friendly.
  • Sit near the driver if you can.
  • Travel with a trusted friend, coworker, or companion, if possible.


There are eight (8) Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) Parent Centers throughout the United States that provide training and programming to youth and young adults with disabilities, their families, professionals, and other Parent Centers. The focus is on issues surrounding youth transition.


RSA Parent Centers are funded by the Rehabilitation Service Administration (RSA) under the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), which is part of the US Department of Education.

Independent Futres That Work logo

In this issue of RAISE The Standard, we focus on “Independent Futures That Work” (Region B-2). This is a project of Parent Centers across Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. This online center will provide training and information that will empower and support youth in transition to access independent living and employment as they transition to adult lives. This project supports youth, their families, and professionals to improve their capacity to support youth with disabilities on their journey.

Their website offers resources in three key areas: work, employment, and independent living, so it is easy to find information that matters to you. While they have many resources, we especially love the easy to use fact sheets offering tips for effective cell phone communication: View the fact sheets.

We also love this basic overview of independent living options for those with significant disabilities: Click here to view the overview.


icon with several books on a bluish green circular background

Centers for Independent Living (CIL) provide travel training:

National Aging and Disability Transportation Center:

ADA Fact Sheet on Transportation:

Access Matters Driver Training:

Accessible Transportation in Tribal Communities Webinar:

Easter Seals Project Action Competencies for the Practice of Travel Instruction and Travel Training:

National Rural Transit Assistance Program with Information about Tribal Transit Systems and an ADA Tool Kit:

NICHY: Travel Training for Youth with Disabilities:


The RAISE Youth Advocates for Change (YAFC) have produced podcasts on topics important to them as youth with disabilities, to amplify the youth voice and support parent centers as they continue to engage with youth and their families. Click here for the February podcast on Dating & Relationships.


April 15, 2024 at 2pm – VIRTUAL – How to Use Transition Discoveries Cards

Learn how to use Transition Discoveries cards to build authentic connections. Explore the pivotal role of strong relationships in empowering families to support their youth through transition with confidence and resilience. Click here to learn more.

July 25-26, 2024 – St. Louis Airport, Bridgeton, MO – 10th Annual RAISE Summit and Meeting

The RAISE Center will cover the expenses for one staff from every RSA Parent Center, including travel and lodging (for the nights of July 24 and 25), and disability accommodations. Once you have registered, you will receive an email with further information to set up your travel arrangements. Click here to register.

RAISE The Standard

Collaboration • Empowerment • Capacity-building

RAISE The Standard enewsletter identifies and shares resources that the Rehabilitation Services Administration Parent Training and Information Centers (RSA-PTI) can use and share with families.

Executive Editor:

Josie Badger

Visit our Website:

The RAISE Technical Assistance Center is working to advance the accessibility of its digital resources, including its websites, enewsletters and various digital documents.

* For more on SPAN Parent Advocacy Network and all of the complementary programs supported, visit


RAISE, the National Resources for Access, Independence, Self-Advocacy and Employment is a user-centered technical assistance center that understands the needs and assets of the RSA-PTIs, coordinates efforts with the Technical Assistance provided by PTI centers and involves RSA-PTIs as key advisors and partners in all product and service development and delivery.

US Dept of Education logo seal

The RAISE Center is a project of the SPAN Parent Advocacy Network and is funded by the US Department of Education's Rehabilitation Service Administration. The contents of this resource were developed under a cooperative agreement with the US Department of Education (H235G200007)). However, the contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education and should not assume endorsement by the federal government.

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