I had an interesting email a few days ago about “disability travel training” like me; many of you have probably not heard of it, disability training where the non-disabled, businesses, etc are trained about the how to approach a disabled person, what not to say, don't lean on the chair, that sort of stuff but disability travel training is a completely different ball game and overall more beneficial.
This is where I put on my teachers hat in an attempt to educate you all out there in cyber land. This type of training is designed to help people with a range of disabilities who lack confidence or the skills to travel independently? Many of us take getting on a bus or a train as an everyday part of life, but many people might not be able read a timetable or recognise numbers, or seriously lack confidence that leaves them so scared to leave the house because they might get lost, what if you are not good with money and worried about change or using machines to buy a ticket. This problem is a very real one and happening to many disabled as well as non-disabled people throughout the world.
Disability Travel Training can take many forms from very intensive one to one training to building confidence for someone who hasn't used public transport for a long time. The intensive training normally starts with meeting the person in their own home to discuss their personal barriers to traveling. The trainer then develops a plan and discusses the expectations of what the client wants to achieve, this could be using a bus to the local shops, or a train to work. The development plan will involve gentle persuasion and taking people out of their comfort zone. The results can be life changing for many people and give them a sense of freedom and confidence which often develops in other areas of their life.
An example I was given was of a young 18 year old young man who had suffered a nervous breakdown he had lost all confidence to use public transport. He was met in a public library and the trainer discussed his issues, it was not the fact he couldn't read or write or recognise figures, he had lost confidence and didn't know how to regain it. After being accompanied on several journeys he arrived (pardon the pun) to the point where he wanted and was happy to travel on his own. Five sessions were involved and now the young man attends an employment club and is actively looking for work and meeting his sister via public transport.
If you need further information on Disability Travel Training call 07966 30418.