Travel Program Gives Students Newfound Independence

For a initial time in her life as a student, Jennifer Arenas will not have to float on a yellow propagandize train to and from school. She is 19 years old.

Arenas is on a autism spectrum. She attends a special preparation module during Bayside High School and is on lane to connoisseur with a Regents Diploma in June. Like many teenagers, she yearns for independence.

“I mean, what yellow train takes we to college?” she said. “Absolutely not.”

The Department of Education’s travel training module gives high propagandize students with disabilities complete instruction in regulating open transport and interacting with a outward universe independently, including creation decisions about how to safely cranky streets, how to conflict articulate to strangers and how to ask for assistance if lost. 

“We don’t use a judgment of ‘safe’ to douse a kid,” pronounced Peggy Groce, executive of a transport training program.

Each year, a module trains about 300 students with varying disabilities. It has a watchful list of some-more than 100 students.

Arenas pronounced roving to propagandize on mass movement will change her comparison year dramatically, permitting her finally to join a annual club. Before, she had to be on a yellow train during 2:30 p.m.

“I will get to emporium by myself in a supermarket or in a mall, and stay after propagandize to be in a module that we wish to be in,” she said. “I feel some-more eccentric and some-more grown up.”

While many enlightening programs cycle in and out of fashion, Groce’s transport training module has durability power; she helped start it some-more than 40 years ago. For perspective, that’s 20 years forward of a Americans with Disabilities Act, that protects people with disabilities from discrimination.

WNYC spent a day with Arenas as she used a outing from her home in Corona, Queens, to Bayside High School. Click play above to hear a full story.

(Jennifer Arenas kept a daily biography of her training, including her possess illustrations.)