Despite their best intentions, safely transporting students with disabilities—especially those who use wheelchairs—remains perhaps the most under-addressed liability facing school districts. Often these challenges are the unintended consequence of the way districts are structured, as well as transportation decisions made years ago. As a result, effecting real change requires teamwork, ingenuity and patience.
This webinar tells the story of one school district, Knox County Schools, and its efforts to improve the safety of its students. It provides insights, ideas, and tools that student transporters can consider applying to address their own unique transportation challenges.
- Darren Reaume, National Training Manager, Q’Straint / Sure-Lok
As the National Training Manager for Q’Straint and Sure-Lok, Darren’s duties include developing training materials and courses for all wheelchair securement applications. In addition, Darren oversees the highly successful annual National Training Seminars and launched the innovative Q’Straint / Sure-Lok Training Aqademy, which provides a comprehensive program of training solutions for transportation providers. He has been invited by numerous agencies throughout the country—including BusCon, CTAA, STN and Metro Magazine—to speak on safe and effective wheelchair securement practices and regulatory issues. Prior to entering the transportation industry, Darren spent 10 years working in higher education at Tufts University and Amherst College, focusing on issues of diversity and student access. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Amherst College (Mass.).
- Laura Beth Blankenship, PT, CPST
Laura Beth is a pediatric physical therapist with Knox County Schools in Knoxville, Tennessee. She has 19 years of experience. She is a certified child passenger safety technician (CPST) and a member of the Knox County Schools transportation team. She provides child safety restraint system (CSRS) and wheelchair securement training for 39 independent special education bus contractors and their drivers, five shuttle contractors and their drivers, as well as appropriate school staff throughout the system.
- Lauren Mayes, CPST
Lauren is a special education router with Knox County Schools in Knoxville, Tennessee. She is a certified child passenger safety technician (CPST), a member of the Knox County Schools transportation team, and provides child safety restraint system (CSRS) training for drivers and staff throughout the county. She is responsible for all routing and scheduling for 107 buses and 40 shuttles providing transportation services to approximately 2,000 students to 90 school sites.