Accessibility

Non-profit provides travel trainer services for disabled, seniors

Posted on July 21, 2010

[IMAGE]Travel-Trainer-full.jpg[/IMAGE]The Association of Travel Instruction (ATI) is a national nonprofit organization for travel trainers, mobility speciaists/managers, public transit ADA coordinators or community relations personnel, accessible transportation advocates, programs for seniors, programs for persons with developmental disabilities, parents of children with disabilities, school transition coordinators—essentially anyone with an interest in greater use of public transportation by persons with disabilities and seniors. Travel trainers teach disabled and older persons to use local public transportation fixed-route services safely and independently.

Offering travel training services, either directly or through contracts with travel training providers, is one method used by many public transportation properties to reduce reliance on, and the cost of, ADA paratransit services. If your agency or community currently provides travel training or is thinking of starting a travel training program, you may wish to consider sending someone to our upcoming conference.

The 10th Annual Association of Travel Instruction Continuing Education Conference will be held from August 13 to 15, 2010, at the Sheraton Baltimore City Center Hotel in Baltimore. Full conference registration information can be found on ATI’s website Home page, www.travelinstruction.org.

The hotel room block for the ATI conference is available until August 5, and onsite conference registration is available between 8 AM and 12 Noon on the Friday, August 13 conference start date. 

The Baltimore ATI conference is open to anyone with an interest in learning more about travel training, and conference sessions can benefit new, growing and experienced travel training programs. There will be presentations about hiring and training new travel trainers; documents needed to manage a travel training program; partnering with ADA paratransit staff at a transit property to achieve positive travel training outcomes; and a cost/benefit model and budget for a travel training service.

The ATI conference also focuses on a travel training growth area: teaching high school students in transition how to use local public transportation safely and independently. One session is a detailed review about how travel training is working for students in transition in a large midwest metropolitan area school district, while a second panel looks at marketing and funding travel training for students in transition.

At some roadway intersections, identifying a safe path of travel can be a daunting task for even the most experienced travel trainer. At the August ATI conference, there will be a panel presentation about the variables involved in teaching safe street crossings. Another panel presentation will examine the most important competencies of primary and secondary route training for students with disabilities in transition programs.

Additional conference sessions will cover the use of assistive technology in travel training; information about side effects of commonly-prescribed medications that travel training students might be taking; and details of the impending U.S. manufacture of a new wheelchair-accessible sedan  with public/private transportation uses.

ATI also publishes a free e-newsletter, which interested persons can sign up for at http://www.travelinstruction.org/newsletter.html.

For additional ATI conference information, contact ATI past-president Terence Moakley at (845) 634-4257.

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