Personal Story

Impact Feature Issue on Meeting Transportation Needs of Youth and Adults with Developmental Disabilities

The Proud Parent of a Successful Bus Rider: Reflections of Nick's Mom

Nick is certainly an exceptional young man. Born with many developmental delays and mental retardation, he has exceeded all our expectations. Parents of children with disabilities are not always eager to let their child practice their independence. Not letting them learn skills for everyday living is imposing on them an unnecessary impediment.  Fortunately for us, the Houston METRO is 100% accessible, bus and rail drivers are taught how to assist individuals with disabilities, and they offer a travel training curriculum for teens on how to safely ride public transportation. Some students with disabilities may not achieve academic measures of success, but for these students the ability to integrate into the life of the community is an ideal measure of success. Students who take travel training in their transition to adult life in the community have the best outcomes. It can make the difference between a person with disability going out to movies, museums, etc. or sitting at home dependent on others for transportation. Knowing how to get to a church, a volunteer position, or even a job gives a person freedom and dignity.

Contributed by Mercedes Alejandro, mother of Nick Lewis, Houston, Texas.