Safe Routes to School projects should be inclusive of students with all types of abilities, and we encourage you to think of creative ways to build your programs for all users. Below you will find a few helpful resources to get you started.
The White Paper: Effectively Planning and Implementing SRTS for Students with Disabilities
This paper provides two major sections, in the first you will:
- Learn about the diversity of disabilities your students may face
- Understand what is meant by “Special Education”
- Get a window into the life of families who have students with disabilities
- Investigate the ways students with disabilities and students in Special Education are viewed by others
In the second part, you will:
- Learn about the benefits of SRTS for students with disabilities
- Get an overview of Michigan’s SRTS Handbook Planning Process
- Look at examples of SRTS programs in three Special Education settings
Strategies on How to Include Students with Disabilities in Your Safe Routes project:
Because all schools have varying characteristics the types of SRTS activities vary, here are some easy ways to incorporate students with disabilities into your SRTS activities and planning.
- Take the type of school into consideration, is it a neighborhood school, regional school, or center-based-program school? See the Executive Summary for more information on each of type of school. Identifying this will help you figure out what types of activities and improvements will be most beneficial to students.
- Make sure you have sufficient representation of special education professionals and parents of students in special education on your SRTS planning team. When scheduling the walking audit, discuss with these team member’s routes that would best benefit students with disabilities.
- When hosting large events such as Walk to School Day, consider the route to school and its accessibility. Provide a route that will allow all students to participate. When promoting the event, provide inclusive photos on any materials. This will help include students in already existing SRTS efforts, rather than specifically calling them out.
- When thinking of education, make sure to engage staff. Students may have specific needs and interventions that make their education effective. Work with staff to identify additional or different education materials needed.
Other useful resources:
- Involving Students with Disabilities in SRTS – Published by the National Center for Safe Routes to School (2010)
- Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Safe Routes to School – Published by NJ SRTS (2016)