Travel Training at the Manchester Academy
Travel training for all the profoundly deaf pupils at Manchester Academy has had a dynamic effect on their self confidence and more importantly in the growth of their independence.
This has been achieved by the dedication of the Travel Trainers who have provided the vital link between the pupil, the family and the schools. This takes professionalism and dedication and a lot of determination, especially in the depths of a dark, wet and cold Manchester morning at 7.00am meeting a pupil at home in Higher Blakeley!
When I say to parents that I expect their deaf child to be travelling independently to school, they often laugh and say ‘Never! Don’t you know that he/she is deaf and can’t do this on their own?’ Often set against this level of parental scepticism, the Travel Trainers grit their teeth and work their magic, gently going through the weekly and then daily process of supporting these deaf pupils on their journey’s to and from school.
Behind the actual travel are; the risk assessments, the journey planning, the liaison with parents and school, relationship building with all the stake holders etc. Finally finishing with a series of assessments and fine judgements to decide whether or not a pupil is safe to travel on their own.
11 deaf Manchester Academy pupils are independent travellers and some now go further afield with confidence being able to join in with sporting and cultural clubs and events across the city, thus enhancing their lives and those of others who come into contact with them.Finally, I must add my thanks to this group of colleagues because the beginning and end of my working day is now very peaceful as I no longer have to sort out pupil disputes arising in the taxi or mini-bus!
Teacher of the Deaf, Sensory Needs Team
Based at Manchester Academy
What parents and students have said about MTTP
“It’s what I always wanted for him but didn’t know when the right time was.”
Parent’s thought on the right time for independence.
“I’m seeing a new son. I can’t believe the difference, how’s he’s changed.”
Mum’s reaction to her son becoming an independent traveller.
“I liked the clear step by step approach. He thought he could do it sooner but I was happy with the pace set.”
Parent’s views on the training
“I feel responsible and independent.”
What travelling on their own means for a student.
“I can talk to my friends before school now as I’m not met and taken to my class.”
Student on the benefits of travel training
I would recommend travel training to anybody, even if you don’t think you can do it. I did it!