Developmental community mobility skills training and pre-driver competency for students ages 14–21
Y.A.L.E. School has always known that our students need independent community mobility training in order to participate in higher education, and to access employment and community resources—either by car or public transit. So we’ve always offered community-based instruction experiences with integrated mobility education. Now we’re blazing new trails with our cutting-edge progressive mobility curriculum designed with driving rehab specialists and occupational therapists!
Y.A.L.E.’s teaching staff and transition team collaborate to offer community mobility training for our students that encompasses community-based instruction trips, personal mobility skills and pre-driver competency. Whether learning to take the PATCO high speed train during community-based instruction, planning which NJ Transit bus route to take to community resources, or using AccessLink to get to work or higher education, Y.A.L.E. students begin preparing for independent mobility as early as age 14.
Community mobility at the Y.A.L.E. School Cherry Hill campus and S9 Program
The Cherry Hill campus offers a driving simulator program for young adults enrolled in the Standard 9 transition program. Students practice the basics of driving using a state-of-the-art virtual driving simulator located on campus. The advanced DriveSafety® simulator software takes the students through the basics of driving step by step, starting with timed trials on simple motor skills like turning the steering wheel and pressing the gas pedal. Another student or a teacher acts as “passenger” using a tablet computer to control the tests and give feedback to the student in the “driver’s seat” after each task is completed. Eventually students work their way up to a realistic road test scenario that looks similar to a video game.
Younger students in our 21st Century Skills Lab can begin to improve community mobility skills using Drive Focus®., an iPad® app that features interactive video driving simulations. The app coaches young drivers on how to recognize critical items on the road such as pedestrians or another vehicle that brakes suddenly.
All students have an opportunity to learn how to ride a bike for personal mobility and fitness as part of regular physical education classes and interest-based social skills clubs.
Community mobility at other Y.A.L.E. School campuses
The Y.A.L.E. School Ellisburg Autism program is designed to specifically address the educational and life skills needs of students with autism who will soon transition to adulthood. Students spend approximately two-thirds of their time in the program outside of the classroom — working at community-based internships and participating in frequent community-based instruction at local businesses such as Whole Foods, PETCO, the Cherry Hill Mall, Pitman Manor, and more. Other community-based instructional trips promote generalization of skills at restaurants, shopping areas, public transportation and more.