You've just seen a variety of learners with different needs. Often, you'll need to try and help your learners overcome the barriers that prevent them from independently accessing public transport.
A person can have limited mobility for a variety of reasons.
- They may have a permanent physical disability, for example, someone with cerebral palsy may use a wheelchair.
- A person's mobility may also be limited by recent circumstance, for example by an injury or an illness event such as a mild stroke.
- Older people can also have limited mobility as time goes on.
In all of these cases, and others, limited mobility can be a barrier to access. Addressing this barrier may involve helping the learner get the mobility support they need, and learning about and making use of accessible transport options.
Impaired vision or hearing
If a person is living with vision impairment or hearing impairment, this can be a barrier to their access of transport.
They will need to consider their access and use of transport information. Road safety is also a consideration, as part of the entire trip.
Public transport has a number of ways to support people with vision or hearing impairment. Addressing these barriers can involve learning about and gaining confidence in the accessibility options.
A person with cognitive impairment may not be able to read or navigate public transport information, such as timetables and other resources, or signage at stops and stations. They may also have difficulty communicating with others.
Cognitive impairment may also limit a person's ability to cope with unexpected events, such as missing a stop on the bus.
Addressing this can involve developing strategies to work around the barrier. For example, practising and focusing on routines and using visual cues may be more important than timetables. It can also involve having back-up plans in place, for example, a card with emergency contact details.
Lack of knowledge, experience, or information
Some people may lack information or experience that prevents them from accessing transport. This can be a consequence of a recent change in the person's circumstances that has meant that they have only recently needed to rely on public transport, such as:
- a person who has always driven, but has recently voluntarily handed in their driver's licence
- a person who has relied on a partner to drive them, who is recently deceased or had to hand in their licence
- a person who is new to the area, particularly if they are experienced in a very different transport system.
Lack of confidence
A lack of confidence is a common barrier, and can stem from other barriers such as having a recent fall.
A person with a lack of experience with public transport may have to gain knowledge and information about accessing transport, and a person with limited mobility may have to learn about and practise using accessible transport options. But these people may also have to overcome the belief that they "will never know how" or "never be able" to access transport.
Misconceptions about transport services
For some, a lack of information can take the form of misconceptions about transport, such as:
- the price of public transport
- the transport options that are available in the area
- the level of service available through public transport
- their ability to safely use public transport.