A research project has been launched to help address the challenges children with special education needs (SEN) face in learning road safety skills.
According to the Department for Education, around 14% of children in the UK have SEN – with parents identifying their child’s safety on the roads as one of their main concerns.
Children diagnosed with conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or cognition and learning impairments have been found to be at a greater risk of road traffic injury.
Funded by the DfT, the University College London research project will explore the barriers to road safety education experienced by children with SEN, their parents and service providers.
It aims to create a greater understanding about the vulnerability of children with SEN in the traffic environment, and identify strategies that may help address the challenges they face in learning road safety skills.
Other aims include: strengthening the evidence base of effective road safety education of children with SEN between 7 and 18 years of age; and providing a ‘voice’ for children with SEN.
Participants in the study will be given portable cameras to film journeys they make in order to explore the impact of individual and environmental factors on their safety on and around roads.
How can road safety professionals help?
Road safety officers and others involved in delivering road safety education to children and young people with SEN are being encouraged to complete a short survey about their work.
The survey aims to identify effective examples of tailoring road safety education to SEN across the UK.
Four projects will then be selected from the survey for more in-depth evaluation. Based on these evaluations recommendations and resources will be developed, with input from young people with SEN and their families, that are tailored for use with young people with SEN.