TravelMate is an “app” or a curriculum that can be used to provide the supports necessary for an individual with ID/DD to learn to ride the bus, train, metro, plane or Uber/cab. It takes the individual (and trainer) step by step through each trip as a virtual assistant providing the supports necessary to each unique individual. It is a completely customizable software platform in a user friendly format that allows users to target communication, behavior and life skills, while promoting the independence of individuals with disabilities.
The application is available on both Android and iOS platforms and allows users to utilize pictures or videos which represent actual images of the learner’s environment such as their own bus stop or Metro station or train. Within these visual scene displays, users can incorporate a variety of customizable visual supports including schedules, social stories, video modeling and a variety of communication tools to assist students in navigating through their environment in a way that meets their own unique learning needs.
The Arc of Northern Virginia has partnered with SpecialNeedsWare, Inc to develop a travel training curriculum called TravelMate. With funding from the Federal Transit Authority through the Washington Council of Governments we have produced four Travel Training Programs that trained teachers, job coaches, therapists, assistive technology specialists, disability providers and family members how to use TravelMate and train students and family members with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Fairfax and Arlington County and the Cities of Falls Church and Alexandria. Please contact Kymberly Deloatche, Travel Training Coordinator if you would like to work with an individual to be travel trained