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Creating more safety and accessibility for students with disabilities

Zum introduces specialized training for drivers to address special needs

Safety and accessibility are at the core of Zum’s modern transportation solution. Earlier this year, we introduced SafeGuard, a comprehensive program ensuring the quality and experience of each Zum school bus driver, giving them the tools and skills to deliver the best experience to each student on every ride.  We’re excited to take our commitment a step further to address the needs of students with disabilities through our new partnership with SPED Safe, an organization founded by leading experts in special education and law enforcement with a commitment to enhancing safe environments for all. Zum will be designing highly specialized courses, exclusive to Zum drivers, to ensure our drivers are qualified to provide premier service and care for students who require additional support. With enhanced training for driving professionals comes added confidence to parents and of course a sense of comfort and safety that will be felt by the students.

“Each and every student deserves the best possible care. Parents trust that we are caring for their child to the best of our ability, and our new partnership with SPED Safe is designed to ensure our drivers are well prepared to support students, no matter their mental, physical, emotional, and behavioral needs.”
Ritu Narayan

CEO and founder of Zum

More than 7 million children across America have disabilities, and, for many, school transportation provides their only access to education. Through SPED Safe’s decades long work in the special education field, they have designed a curriculum that prepares Zum drivers to understand the unique nature, needs and characteristics of each student’s disability,  and mitigate situations as they arise, regardless of that student’s special need.  “Since the early days of Zum, I recognized that the disabilities community was being disproportionately affected by lack of access to sufficient school transportation. We have made it a mission of ours to provide them with the best care possible. With the enhanced training, drivers will be even more equipped than before to look after individuals who  require extremely personalized attention, ensuring the safety of all students before, during and after the school ride.” said Ritu Narayan, CEO and founder of Zum.


Educator-backed driver curriculum

Zum’s partnership with SPED Safe introduces a new six module curriculum specifically designed to train drivers on how to properly care for individuals with disabilities: 

  1. Behavioral basics: Zum drivers are trained on the ABCs of behavior, behavioral science and the principles of applied behavior analysis. This introductory training helps drivers better understand how to provide more personalized care for students. 
  2. Overview & awareness: Drivers receive an overview of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and learn about special education law and confidentiality. 
  3. Structure & routine: Zum is training its drivers on the importance of structure and routine to give them the tools needed to prepare students with disabilities for any changes that may arise day-to-day. 
  4. Evidence based practices: To help aid with positive reinforcement behaviors and practices, Zum drivers are trained on the types of reinforcement strategies they can take that are consistent with how educators would care for students with disabilities in the classroom. 
  5. Response & de-escalation: Whether it be a student conflict or an isolated circumstance, Zum drivers are equipped to respond to an individual appropriately based on their needs and are taught a variety of de-escalation tactics. 
  6. Communicating & reporting: Transparency has always been a critical component of Zum’s model. Zum is further enhancing its communications by preparing drivers to report effectively to parents, school district staff and the community for any and all incidents. 
“Zum's commitment and participation in the SPED Safe Transportation Series demonstrates their willingness to go above and beyond in enhancing school transportation experiences for students, families, and drivers alike.The SPED Safe Transportation Series in conjunction with Zum's advanced technology and safety features will redefine transportation for all students, particularly those with disabilities.”
Dr. Paul Lavigne

SPED Safe Co-Founder


Read more on Zum’s Safe Guard program Learn more about www.spedsafe.org