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School Bus Driver Training

School Bus Driver Training

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School Bus Driver Training

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  1. School Bus Driver Training Unit D Transportation of Students with Disabilities

  2. Objectives • At the end of this session school bus operators will be able to: • Describe their role and responsibilities regarding transporting students with disabilities • Describe general guidelines for managing students with disabilities • Recognize characteristics of different types of disabilities and how they affect transportation needs • Demonstrate specialized procedures in loading and unloading students with disabilities • Demonstrate how to work with students with disabilities in emergencies and evacuation drills

  3. Introduction • Two significant laws ensure services to students with disabilities • Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) • Title 22, Chapter 14 of PA Code provide compliance in PA • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 • Title 22, Chapter 15 of PA Code • Transportation is a privilege for regular education students, but • Transportation is an entitlement for students with special needs.

  4. Introduction • These laws require school bus operators have a working knowledge of: • Guidelines for managing students with disabilities • Special transportation procedures

  5. Driver Responsibility • Follow local policy • Regarding pick-up and return: • Bus stops are established by others • If the bus stop is the student’s home, meet the parents • Parents should have the student ready when you arrive • Never leave a student home alone on return • Regarding crashes • Keep written records about your students in a safe place • Keep a copy of established seating arrangements in bus • Coordinate activities with aides to students • Keep pertinent written policies

  6. Confidential Information • Information about any given student is confidential • Operators may be privy to some information • Discuss nothing about students with anyone, beyond what is necessary to know to transport • Medical identification tags • Some children with or without an identified disability may have specific medical needs • Tags alert bus drivers and others to this need • Tags identify medical concerns and may specify care

  7. Guidelines for Managing Students with Disabilities • Students may be sensitive to your moods • Parents, teachers, and special education staff are your sources of needed information • Observe, anticipate, expect the unexpected • Learn communication methods when necessary • Give students some responsibility • Bad days happen • Safety first • Introduce substitute drivers ahead of need

  8. S-T-A-R-T Memory Aid • “START off right” with students with special needs • S = Special • T = Treat Equally • A = Attention • R = Restraints • T = Different Techniques

  9. Types of Disabilities • Following is an introduction to the different types of disabilities defined in IDEIA • Each includes procedures used to manage the behavior • Some students will require specialized transportation • Some students will be included in general education transportation

  10. IDEIA: Types of Disabilities • Autism • Deaf & Blind • Deafness/Hearing Impairments • Emotional Disturbance • Mental Retardation • Multiple Disabilities • Orthopedic Impairments • Other Health Impairments • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) • Epilepsy • Tourette Syndrome • Specific Learning Disability • Speech or Language Impairment • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) • Visual Impairments

  11. Autism • A developmental disability • Affects verbal and nonverbal communication • Affects social interaction • Engagement in repetitive activities • Resistance to changes in environment or routine • Symptoms are viewed on a continuum • Severe autism may require specialized transport • Mild autism may allow general education transport

  12. Autism • Remember that this is a disorder – not willful conduct • Stick to a routine • Prepare students for changes • Speak in short sentences with concrete concepts • Recognize stress from environmental change • Do not insist on eye contact • Some students respond well to music – parents may guide

  13. Deaf and Blind • The combination causes severe communication and developmental needs • If available, work with a mobility specialist • Learn signals for help, distress, and other needs • Consider seating these students near the door

  14. Deafness/Hearing Impairments • Hearing impairments may range from some degree of hearing loss to totally deaf • Some may require special transport • Inclusion in general transportation is common • Students rely on sight and touch • Students may rely on lip movement, facial expression, signing, or finger spelling

  15. Deafness/Hearing Impairments • When communicating, maintain eye contact • Speak clearly, slowly, without shouting • Repetition is sometimes useful • Be particularly careful during loading and unloading, especially if students have to cross the street

  16. Emotional Disturbance • Inability to learn not explained by typical factors • Inability to build or maintain relationships with peers or teachers • Inappropriate behavior or feelings • General pervasive mood of unhappiness/depression • Tendency to develop physical symptoms or fear associated with personal or school problems • May be aggressive when confronted with rules

  17. Emotional Disturbance • Students are commonly included in general education transportation • Students may be loud and aggressive or shy and withdrawn • Be calm, firm, fair, consistent • Balance professional distance with attentive involvement • Immediately report any threats of suicide to school officials

  18. Mental Retardation • Impaired intellectual development • Reduced ability to learn • Struggle with daily living skills • May be mild to severe • Level of assistance needed from bus operator may vary • Assigning seats may be useful • Appropriate child safety restraint system may be helpful • Consistency and patience, particularly with repetition will be helpful

  19. Multiple Disabilities • Sometimes these disabilities occur in combination • Often such students cannot be accommodated by programs for only one of their disabilities • These students often need special transportation • Work with parents, teachers, mobility specialists to learn communication and other needs

  20. Orthopedic Impairments • Students afflicted with a physical issue that affects their educational performance. • For example: Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, and Spina Bifida • Some may require wheelchairs or other devices • When possible these students are integrated into the regular transportation system • Specific impairments may affect seating on the bus

  21. Other Health Impairments: Epilepsy • Chronic nerve disorder • Characterized by seizures • Seizures may be triggered by stress, bumps in the road, hot passenger compartment, strobes or flashing lights • Students typically have a ‘seizure plan’

  22. Epilepsy • Listen to the student – they may know when a seizure is imminent • Keep calm – the student is neither suffering nor in danger • Move the student to a place where they will not strike hard objects with their head or limbs • Do not force objects in the student’s mouth • After the seizure, be calm and reassuring • Refer to local guidelines and parent notification requirements

  23. Other Health Impairments: Tourette Syndrome • Neurological disorder • Repetitive, involuntary movements and vocalizations • Onset is typically between 7 and 10 years • Worst symptoms occur in early teens • Symptoms are worsened by stress • Symptoms are lessened by calm, focused activities

  24. Tourette Syndrome • Do not point out the behavior to the student • Carefully consider seat assignment • Keep a regular routine • Keep rules and directions short

  25. Other Health Impairments: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) • Three types • Primarily inattentive • Primarily hyperactive-impulsive • Combined • Impulsiveness – acts quickly without thinking • Hyperactivity – cannot sit still • Inattention – daydreaming • Forgetfulness – tendency to misplace items

  26. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) • Be patient • Have firm, fair, consistent expectations • Use verbal cues to alert an ADHD student their stop is near • Consider allowing electronic devices to engage ADHD students • MP3 player • Handheld games

  27. Specific Learning Disability • Disorder in basic psychological processes used for: • Understanding • Communicating • Does not include disorders due to: • Sensory or motor disabilities • Mental or emotional disorders • Environmental disorders • These students are typically included in general education transportation • Classroom teachers may be helpful to learn the best approach

  28. Speech or Language Impairment • Communication disorder • Can affect education • Students may be difficult to understand • Listen attentively and repeat back • Be encouraging rather than correcting • If you cannot understand, ask a series of short questions that require yes or no answers

  29. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) • An acquired injury to the brain • May affect any brain function, or a combination of brain functions • Severity of disability may vary • Participation in general education transportation is rare, but dependent on the level of impairment • Be consistent with rules • Be clear with expectations • Classroom teacher may assist with techniques that work

  30. Visual Impairments • Students with vision that adversely affects educational performance • Does not affect educational performance unless student has cognitive impairment also • Students commonly use general education transportation • Monitor students’ movement for safety • Address students by name • Provide descriptive feedback during trip to assist their orientation

  31. Transporting Students with Disabilities • May involve special equipment and procedures • Learn local guidelines • Talk to your employer about training with special equipment

  32. General Considerations • Length of ride • Level of assistance needed • Seating • Special adaptive and assistive equipment • Evacuation

  33. Identifying Bus Stops • May be at student’s home • Should have level parking and space for wheelchair ramps • Parking on the left side of a two-way street is prohibited • Adapt pick-up and drop-off procedures to circumstances • Try to locate a place where traffic will not be held up

  34. Loading Procedures • 8-way light system is unnecessary if bus can be pulled off street (use hazard lights) • Turn off and secure the bus if leaving the bus to assist • If using seat belts or other restraints, be sure they are secure before restarting the bus • Follow school district policies on wait time and boarding time • If a student requires an aide, do not leave the student unattended

  35. Assigning Seats • Students with disabilities want to be like and with their friends • Students often associate being seated near the driver with “problem” students • Consider mobility and independence when assigning seats for students with disabilities

  36. On the Road • If aides are available, their job is to be sure students remain safely seated • With or without aides on board, make periodic checks • Knowing the students and their needs can help with knowing what to look for

  37. Unloading Procedures • Never leave a student at a bus stop unless a parent or guardian is there • Check local policies to determine procedures if no parent is available

  38. Modified Vehicles • There are a wide variety of vehicles available to transport students with specific disabilities • All must conform to standards set in Chapter 171 of Title 67, PA Code

  39. Child Safety Seats in School Vehicles • School vehicles are those designed to carry 10 or fewer passengers, including the driver • Children under 4 years old must be secured in child safety seats in school vehicles • Children 4 or older, but under 8 years old, must be secured in booster seats in school vehicles • Children 8 or older must use a seat belt in school vehicles

  40. Child Safety Seats in Buses • Law doesn’t address the use of child safety seats and booster seats on school buses, only school vehicles. • Follow district policies and NHTSA Guidelines for transporting pre-school age children on buses

  41. Special Equipment • Ramps • Lifts • Seat belts • Positioning belts • Safety vests • Harnesses

  42. Ramps • Ramps allow wheelchairs to enter the bus • Ramps allow walking students who cannot use steps to enter the bus • The ramp may need to be secured in place in use • The ramp must be stowed securely when the bus is moving

  43. Lifts • Some buses and school vehicles are equipped with lifts • Remember that after a student who uses a wheelchair is lifted into the bus, the wheelchair must be secured • 4 tie-down • 3-point shoulder/lap belt • Independent wheelchair seatbelt, if so equipped

  44. Emergency Procedures and Evacuation Drills • Generally, emergency procedures are the same as outlined in Unit H and Unit I • Carry a copy of first aid procedures in the vehicle or bus • Make sure your vehicle or bus has the required and optional emergency equipment • Assign students who are deaf or blind a partner who can assist in an emergency

  45. Emergency Procedures and Evacuation Drills • Evacuation drills should be limited to simulations at the school • Ambulatory students with disabilities are evacuated the same as other students • In a crisis, non-ambulatory students may be placed on the floor and dragged out any exit • Students with disabilities involved in a crash or emergency evacuation should be examined by qualified medical personnel