Are school bus drivers and bus aides who transport special needs children required to have training? Are they required to know the disability and be able to accommodate that disability?
The need for training and support applies to all school personnel, including bus drivers and school bus aides.
School bus drivers are expected to handle children with different needs related to:
- cognitive concerns
- behavioral issues
- physical impairment
- medical conditions
A school bus driver may need training in behavior management techniques for children with autism and emotional disturbances.
The bus driver or aide may also need training from physical and occupational therapists about how to position a medically fragile child.
The school nurse could train transportation personnel about how to transport a child with health impairments.
NHTSA Training Guidelines for Transportation Personnel
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a training module for Transportation of Children with Special Needs.
The module advises bus drivers and attendants to “know your students and what they need.”
Have transportation personnel who work with a student at the IEP meeting to learn more about a child’s transportation needs.
The school bus driver/attendant should know the characteristics of the disability and the equipment the student needs and uses.
Check each student’s ITP (Individual Transportation Plan) for special instructions or precautions.
The IEP should provide the necessary specificity so the driver, school, parent and student know what services to expect.
NHTSA also has a training module on Emergency Situations when transporting children with special needs.
- Check your state regulations and any school policies about transporting children with special needs
- Discuss your child’s transportation safety needs with the IEP Team
- Document in writing any transportation issues and concerns
If your child has transportation needs, ask the school bus driver to join the IEP team.
Any support and training for teachers and other school personnel (i.e., bus drivers and aides) must be written in your child’s IEP.
Database Questions: Transportation