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Fears and concerns of young people when using public transport brought to attention
The Council for Disabled Children have published a useful article that highlights the needs and experiences of young people with special educational needs and disabilities when using public transport.
It highlights that accessibility measures and physical issues, such as not enough space, or requiring assistance when you are getting on public transport, can be extremely daunting for young people with special educational needs and disabilities.
Concerns over COVID-19 have also increased stress when using public transport, which has been exacerbated due to less space being available for individuals to use wheelchairs or to stand near doors to calm panic attacks due to social distancing.
The article highlights that a lack of knowledge and understanding from staff can also add to the mental stress and pain felt through anxiety when using public transport. Due to this, it highlights the importance of staff receiving adequate training on how to assist children and young people with special education needs and disabilities, so that they are inclusively treated and are able to use the transport, regardless of social distancing measures.
Staff are also asked to think about the way they interact with passengers to make the experience as stress-free as possible, such as by clearly communicating, without jargon, the measures that are being implemented as a result of COVID-19.