The Safety Net

Mobility Training for Consumers with Developmental Disabilities

 

Mobility Training Services

Mobility training is an intensive program for consumers to learn how to travel safely and independently use public transportation. The intended outcome of these highly individualized services is for consumers to travel the safest, direct route to and from locations they routinely visit or use. Agencies providing these services typically utilize Mobility Training Services Specialists working on a one-to-one basis with trainees.


Planning Considerations

Although some program participants have skills in reading, telling time, and performing simple calculations, these skills are not mandatory for mobility training. If you work with a consumer who is interested in independently using public transportation, reviewing the following may be helpful when considering this service option.

  • Awareness of personal space.
    Consumers should possess a clear perception of, and respect for, where their own personal space ends and that of others begins. This is critical in ensuring the consumer’s personal safety and dignity, as well as that of fellow passengers

  • Awareness of their environment.
    Recognition of sufficient details of the environment is important for purposeful and safe movement. Consumers should be capable of focusing their attention long enough to safely negotiate the environments in which they will be traveling.

  • Ability to recognize and respond to danger. Although consumers do not necessarily need to handle every possible contingency on their own, being able to identify dangerous situations and seek appropriate assistance as necessary are extremely important.

Skill Development

Prior to consumers becoming independent in their travel, they should demonstrate capabilities in the following:

  • Crossing streets safely, with or without traffic signals
  • Boarding the correct bus or light rail car
  • Recognizing and disembarking at the correct destination
  • Making travel decision en route
  • Initiating travel steps at appropriate times
  • Recognizing the need for assistance and requesting help from an appropriate source
  • Following directions
  • Recognizing and avoiding dangerous situations and obstacles
  • Maintaining socially acceptable personal behavior
  • Handling unexpected situations, such as re-routed buses, weather emergencies, or getting lost
  • Dealing appropriately with strangers
  • Responding to emergencies, such as boarding the wrong bus, losing one’s fare, or becoming ill in transit

As with all individualized instruction, mobility training programs should take into account the person’s learning styles and challenges, while at the same time capitalizing on his or her abilities, attributes, motivation, and desires. Mobility training programs may vary in certain discrete ways; they typically incorporate assessment of current capabilities, direct instruction in travel skills, direct and indirect observations of, competency verification, and intervention for identified issues.

Additional Information

Mobility training services agencies are eligible to apply for vendorization by regional centers. Check with your regional center to learn about the purchase of services policies in place and options for pursuing mobility training services for interested consumers.

For information on mobility training services for people with visual impairments or who are blind, contact:

Department of Rehabilitation
Special Services
Blind & Visually Impaired Services

www.rehab.ca.gov/ssd/blindser.htm

 

 

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