What is Travel Training?
Travel Training is short-term, comprehensive, intensive, one-to-one, specially designed instruction to teach high school age students with disabilities (other than blindness) how to travel safely and independently on public transportation, where appropriate. The one-to-one instruction is provided by specially trained personnel on routes the students will use to travel on public transit from home to a specific destination, usually school or the worksite, and back to home again.

How is a student referred to Travel Training?
The Travel Training Referral Form and a Pupil Profile is completed by school personnel who know the student and forwarded to the Travel Training teacher for your school or sent to:

Office of Travel Training
113 East 4th Street
New York, NY 10003

If these forms are not available at your school, they can be obtained by clicking the link ”Newsletters and Files” below.

After the referral forms are received, a Travel Training teacher schedules a meeting at the school and conducts an individual assessment of the student to evaluate eligibility for travel training.

Who is eligible for travel training?
Students are referred for travel training when they are considered to have the potential to learn to use public transportation independently and safely (refer to Pupil Profile for skills, concepts and behaviors). Typically, students with disabilities other than blindness or visual impairments who are between the ages of 14 and 21 may be considered for referral. If the score on the Pupil Profile indicates the student has the basic minimum skills, a Travel Training teacher conducts a full assessment of the student. Based on the assessment results, parental consent for travel training and independent travel is requested. If the scored Pupil Profile is below the minimum score, the referral source will be advised of the basic skills to be acquired before the student is referred again. This is another reason for referring students prior to their last year in school. A student with a full-time one-to-one paraprofessional is not eligible for travel training until that full time paraprofessional has been reduced or removed from the IEP and the student has demonstrated the ability to self-manage behavior and movement in the school environment.

When should a student be referred for travel training?
Students should be referred to travel training while they are attending secondary school, at least one to two years before participating in a transition center/academy, worksite, or job placement programs. It is in the students’ best interest that they have sufficient time to practice and normalize their independent travel skills using public transit to travel to one destination before generalizing these skills to other destinations or modes of transit. This provides greater support for a successful outcome – safe and independent travel – and enhances the students’ transition opportunities. Since there is a waiting list for travel training, it is important that students be referred prior to their last year of eligibility for public school if they are to have sufficient opportunity for participation in the one-to-one travel training. If it happens that a student will be 21 during the current school year and has yet to be referred for travel training, the referral should be made by the end of September

Who can refer a student?
School personnel, parents and students can make referrals to travel training. School personnel refer students by using the Referral Form and the Pupil Profile. Parents can call or visit a Travel Training Office to refer their sons or daughters. The Travel Training teacher will then contact the school and request the necessary forms be completed. Students frequently refer themselves to the program when there is a Travel Training Office in the school they attend. In those instances, the parents are contacted and the school is requested to complete the appropriate forms.

What are the components of travel training?
The travel training process begins when the referral is received and the assessment of the student is scheduled. Once the assessment is completed, the Travel Training teacher pre-selects a route of travel from the student’s home to the destination and back. The route is to be discussed with the family during the parent conference to elicit their input as preferred path of travel. Parental conferences are an integral part of the travel training process since the training begins and ends at the home, not the school. Family/caregiver concerns are addressed in the instructional plan that is designed by the Travel Training teacher. Once parental consent is obtained, the student is scheduled for travel training.

The one-to-one instruction is provided by travel trainers who are paraprofessionals qualified by specialized training working under the supervision and guidance of a Travel Training teacher. The instructional program includes teaching the student safe street crossing skills, use of public transit to and from specific points, problem-solving, social skills for travel, communication skills for travel, decision-making skills related to travel; and transference of skills to an alternate route. The training is completed with a post-assessment involving the observation of students on solo trips through a “following” strategy to evaluate behavior and proficiency of travel skills when students think they are traveling alone. Based on these observation reports, a recommendation regarding the student’s demonstrated ability to travel safely and independently is provided to the parents and the school.

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