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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Assessment of problems in the transportation of blind and deaf children Stuart, Colleen Mary


This study was a preliminary step in an assessment of the transportation services accessible to blind and deaf children in Vancouver. It originated in response to the ever increasing concern voiced within the community about the problem of inadequate transportation facilities for handicapped children. The purpose of the research was to determine the extent to which public and special transportation services are accessible to children with visual and hearing impairments and to propose improvements that might be made. In order to research this problem, four basic methods of collecting information were employed, as follows: documentary analysis interviews and correspondence with transportation experts; mailed questionnaires to parents of blind and deaf children; and, personal interviews using the same questionnaire. The sample population was randomly selected from blind and deaf children between the ages of 6 and 19 years who were affiliated with Jericho Hill School in the 1974-75 school term. Sixty-one (48%) questionnaires were completed and used in this study. Findings regarding mobility limitations showed that the sample population was quite mobile and over half reported not having to rely on special aids to help them get around outdoors. Of those requiring some kind of aid, most used either a cane or another person. Travel data were obtained for three trip destinations: school medical facilities, and recreational activities. Findings showed the children were not restricted in travel to recreational activities. Transportation to medical facilities was not found to be a problem because the majority of the children used those provided at Jericho Hill School. Access to school transportation was not reported to be a problem in itself; however, it was found that the trip from home to school was problematic in terms of travel time and safety requirements It is a conclusion of this study that if Jericho Hill School remains as a central facility a more localized shuttle service would be the maximum requirement. However, if decentralization occurs the provision of a parallel system run on a demand-responsive basis would be necessary. It is apparent from this study, which has attempted to review the range of problems and needs for transit of blind and deaf children that problems for them are perhaps common to all handicapped children.

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