A scoping review of accessible student transport services for children with disabilities

Elsevier, Transport Policy, Volume 95, 2020, Pages 57-67, ISSN 0967-070X
Authors: 
Timothy Ross, Patrick Bilas, Ronald Buliung, Ahmed El-Geneidy

The governance and provision of accessible transport services for students with disabilities is complex and involves numerous stakeholders, from families and schools, to transport operators and various levels of government. Experiences of traveling to school via bus can also be remarkably difficult for children with disabilities and their families. Despite the complexity and challenges associated with accessible student transport, little has been written about this topic. This scoping review begins to address this knowledge gap. A description of our review process is followed by a detailed review of 20 documents (13 refereed articles, seven grey literature documents). We discuss the literature in relation to theoretical disability perspectives, stakeholder understandings of inclusive education, disability rights legislation, school board transport service challenges and concerns, and alternative accessible student transport methods and opportunities. We propose that scholars and practitioners consider, among other things, using a critical ableist studies perspective to help address ableism in student transport. We also call for improvements to bus driver training to help address challenging relationships that can emerge between drivers and families, and for greater collaboration with non-transport stakeholders to develop alternative accessible student transport service options.