After a spinal cord injury (SCI), the normal routine of going back to school will most likely change significantly.
By making some considerations beforehand, you can help ease the transition back to school.
Consider the overall accessibility of your school. In some cases, it may be necessary to find a new school if your previous one is just not suited for wheelchair use. Most newer schools are wheelchair accessible, but some older schools may not offer the same accessibility. Be sure to see if your child can access different areas such as the cafeteria or the library. Take a look at the playground and see what type of equipment is available and if there is level ground for a wheelchair. This will help make sure your child will be able to participate in outdoor activities.
It is also important to determine whether your child will have access to a bathroom with sufficient space for them to be able to manage their care needs either on their own or with a caregiver.
If you will not drive your child to school, check to see what the school offers in terms of accessible transportation. If your child’s school does offer wheelchair accessible transport, consider the area where they will be picked up and dropped off. Is it easy for your child to access? Is it a high-traffic area that could be difficult or unsafe for your child to access?
Don’t forget to consider the wheelchair accessibility of the classroom. Will your child be able to access all areas of the classroom and is the furniture able to accommodate a wheelchair user? Find out what the ratio of students to teacher is, a larger number of students to teacher may mean that your child may not have the assistance needed throughout the day.
Be sure to discuss your child’s needs with the school as well as the culture of the school with other parents.
Source: www.schn.health.nsw.gov.au, Accessed: 9/14/17