Academic journal article Exceptional Children

Effects of Picture Prompts Delivered by a Video iPod on Pedestrian Navigation

Academic journal article Exceptional Children

Effects of Picture Prompts Delivered by a Video iPod on Pedestrian Navigation

Article excerpt

Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) face many challenges related to community integration, such as obstacles to independent navigation in the community (Sohlberg, Fickas, Lemoncello, & Hung, 2009). Many rely on care providers for transportation, thus reducing self-determination levels and the desire to learn how to access public transportation systems (Sohlberg et al., 2009). Although previous legislative mandates (e.g., Americans With Disabilities Act, 1990; President's Committee on Mental Retardation, 1972; Rehabilitation Act of 1973) have helped govern public transportation accessibility, independent travel remains one of the most important unmet needs for individuals with disabilities (Goodkin, 1977). In addition, there continues to be a lack of comprehensive programming and curriculum available for teaching travel and pedestrian navigation skills (LaGrow, Weiner, & LaDuke, 1990).

Because traveling independently is not usually taught, but learned incidentally, it needs to be explicitly taught to individuals with IDD (LaGrow et al., 1990). Sohlberg and colleagues (2009) found one study that used a general strategy approach (i.e., series of picture prompts) to teach travel to novel destinations (LaDuke & LaGrow, 1984). Individuals who learned to travel more independently were better prepared for the world of work, able to experience more economic benefits related to travel, and relied less on others to get them from place to place (LaGrow et al., 1990). Society can also benefit when individuals with IDD independently navigate to vocational sites without reliance on others and can actively contribute in society (Groce, 1996b). With expanded inclusive opportunities for individuals with IDD, travel training is one way to provide sequential and explicit ways for accessing transportation.

Travel training has been defined by Groce (1996b) as "a short-term, comprehensive, intensive instruction designed to teach students with disabilities how to travel safely and independently on public transportation" (p. 2). Travel training has commonly included teaching public transportation and pedestrian skills such as riding the bus and crossing the street; however, it has not traditionally included comprehensive instruction for teaching pedestrian navigation skills such as walking specific routes (LaGrow et al., 1990). Teaching pedestrian navigation skills involves using a step-by-step method for navigating from point A (starting location) to a specified destination (point B) and also navigating back to the starting location (point A). It is important to teach both ways to and from locations. Pedestrian navigation skills are similar to orientation and mobility skills because they involve simultaneous instruction, are based on a success-based sequence, and are aimed at meeting individualized travel needs (LaGrow et al., 1990).

According to Groce (1996a) and LaGrow et al. (1990), there are many benefits to travel training for individuals with disabilities. First, travel training can improve self-esteem as individuals gain independence and assume responsibility for accessing transportation. Second, if individuals can travel more independently, it can help expand opportunities for employment, education, and independent living. Third, although travel training can be costly at first due to the extensive supports needed, in the long term it can be a worthwhile investment for individuals to pay for their own travel and navigate independently. Last, as students become less dependent on others they are able to lead productive lives and make significant contributions to society. Knowing how to navigate successfully in the community is crucial for increased quality of life, independence, and productivity.

More importantly, developing adolescents do not wish to rely on parents or guardians for transportation and tend to appreciate greater independence as they grow older (Myers, 1996). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.