The Independent Travel Training Programme has proven to be instrumental in enabling young people with additional needs to have equality of access to public transport, whilst helping to build self- confidence and independence.
Tahsena was initially being taken to school by taxi before being referred to Pure Innovations for travel training in July 2019.
At first, Tahsena was apprehensive about being on the travel training programme as it was a big change from her usual routine. Her route to learn whilst on Travel Training was from home to High School. Tahsena faced multiple challenges including a learning difficulty and limited speech. After three weeks, no progress appeared to have been made and, after consulting with parents and school staff, it was agreed that her training should be paused with the intention to re-assess her when it was felt that she was more ready.
Fast-forward a year and, with Tahsena due to start College and her family felt that for Tahsena to be independent was not only important but would also be of great social value.
Unquestionably, Tahsena was again anxious with the thought of being travel trained. As one of the unique selling points of the programme is that it is built around the young person, input was sought from family and other professionals so Tahsena’s programme would be adapted to tailor Tahsena’s needs whilst still ensuring that the minimum standards were met.
As the travel training package is individualised, more visual aids and additional steps were introduced to help Tahsena transition through the different stages of the programme; also when it was felt she was ready to move onto the next stage another travel trainer shadowed Tahsena to confirm she was safe and capable.
After eight weeks, Tahsena was travelling the full route to and from college with no input from the travel trainer. Tahsena had developed the skills to use her mobile phone to keep her mum updated. Tahsena also understood numbers to call in an emergency.
Tahsena’s parents are elated and thrilled with how far Tahsena has come, as they were worried that Tahsena had become dependent on taxis and were concerned about her future.
“Having a qualified travel trainer helping her was really fantastic, I really appreciated that there was no time limit to her training”
“I think sometimes, having a child with additional needs, it can be difficult to see how capable they are. Seeing Tahsena use the bus and get to college independently is amazing”
“College have told me that Tahsena having travel training will open doors for her in the future, especially with work experience.” (Tahsena’s mum)
From her reaction, it was easy to see that Tahsena’s concerns had disappeared while on the programme and that she was taking delight and flourishing in her newfound independence.