Transportation is a Related Service

Student with disabilities getting of school bus - Cahill Associates Law Is your school district giving you the run around regarding transportation of your son or daughter? Transportation is considered a related service like speech-language services or occupational therapy.

And just like speech-language services or occupational therapy, if transportation is needed in order for the child to have access to education, then the IEP team must determine the type of transportation to be provided and any modifications to transportation, i.e., last on first off, aide on the bus. The description of the transportation services must be included in that child’s IEP and provided by the school district at no cost to the parents.

Transportation arrival and departure times should allow for the child to receive a full instructional day and travel time should be limited to under one hour each way whenever possible.

School districts are sometimes reluctant to offer transportation to a location other than the child’s home. However, courts have held that a child’s unique educational needs determine what transportation is needed for that particular child. Such transportation has included transportation between schools, transportation to a location other than the child’s home and transportation outside of the school district’s boundaries.

And Did You Know…?

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) in the U.S. Department of Education has issued useful guidance on transportation services under the IDEA and its implementing regulations.

In addition to other issues, OSERS’ guidance focused on “travel training” and its importance in the definition of special education.

Travel training is instruction that enables children with disabilities to develop an awareness of the environment in which they live, and to learn the skills necessary to move effectively and safely from place to place within that environment. Both transportation and travel training are important services IEP Teams should continue to consider when they plan for a child’s postsecondary transition needs.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding transportation, please contact Cahill & Associates.

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