December 6, 2023

How to plan a community trip in a multi-disability classroom

Planning a community trip with a class with multiple disabilities can be challenging, but it can also be a rewarding experience for you and your students. Here are some steps you can take to plan a successful field trip as you consider how to plan a community field trip in a multi-disability classroom.

Choose a suitable location

Consider seat availability for your students with disabilities. Make sure it is safe and can meet the needs of all students. For example, if you have students in wheelchairs, make sure the venue has ramps, elevators, and accessible bathrooms. Two weeks ago I took the students with their class to our local science museum. I called and asked if they had an accessible bathroom and wheelchair supports before the trip was complete.

universal changing table
Our local science museum has a universal bathroom and this wonderful motorized changing table.

Plan your logistics

Consider transportation, surveillance and communication needs. Make sure you have enough staff to accompany students and that you have a plan to communicate with each other in the event of an emergency. We may need a lift bus or to store equipment such as a walker on the bus. It is important to ensure that it has enough space. You can also make sure that the student communication device is programmed with the necessary topics for the trip.

communication device
This student uses a lamp, so I made sure they had an opportunity to talk about our journey in the device.

Prepare your students

Talk to your students about the trip and what to expect. Provide visual and social stories to help them understand the schedule and venue rules. Make sure they have appropriate clothing and equipment for the trip. I use Lessonpix to create social stories. However, I also use some of the stories that are part of the First Ten Days set. Stories that emphasize the bus ride and procedures are a great refresher before the journeys. Whitney writes about it here.

social story
Lessonpix makes it very easy to quickly create a social story.

Plan your trip

Choose a date and time that works for all students and staff involved. Consider the weather and any conflicts that may arise. Make a plan if the trip has to be canceled due to weather.

Every month I create a calendar and add all our activities to it. I will send it home and put it in our digital communication.

Prepare for emergencies

Have a plan in case of an emergency, such as a medical emergency or a student who wanders off. Make sure all employees are aware of the plan and know their roles. I have a big red emergency binder. I take it with me everywhere. It has all student information and health plans.

red binder
Inside is a pocket folder for each student.

Have fun

Enjoy the trip with your students and celebrate their achievements. Take pictures and share them with parents and carers.

We had the best time at the science museum!

Remember, the most important thing is to ensure the safety and well-being of your students. With the right planning and preparation, you can create a positive and memorable experience for everyone involved. I hope this helps you consider ways you can start thinking about how to plan a community trip in a multi-disability classroom.

How to plan a community trip in a multi-disability classroom

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