Home to School Travel Training

At Optalis we are offering tailored, practical support to help you learn how to travel independently. Working in partnership with Wokingham Borough Council we are providing travel training for people aged 13 years and up. 

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We are excited to be working in partneship with
South Western Railway, Great Western Railway, the Southeast Communities Rail partnership, Thames Valley Buses and Reading Buses. 

Great Western Railway Logo
Penelope: “It has helped me understand how to get on a train”

What are the benefits?

  • Increased opportunity to participate in social and leisure activities
  • Improvement of general health and well-being
  • Increased confidence and independence
  • Decreased reliance on specialist transport and parents/carers
  • More opportunities to go out with friends and join clubs

How does the programme work?

The programme takes approximately 6 weeks, but this does depend on individual needs.

  • Learning the journey and alternative routes
  • Personal and road safety awareness
  • Coping strategies and using technology
  • Confidence building and increased social interaction
  • Handling money and paying fares
  • Increasing the confidence of individuals and improving social interaction

Our travel trainers have a wealth of experience supporting people with learning difficulties, SEN, physical disabilities and people with mental health issues. Our staff have enhanced DBS’ and are first aid trained.

We always ensure we work closely with you and your support networks to ensure the appropriate support, guidance and training is given to enable you to maximise your potential.

Katherine: “I feel less nervous about going on a train”

Find out more about Ability travel in on our frequently asked questions below: 

The cost will depend on the needs of the person. All costs will be discussed once we have all the information required.

Yes, we are able to teach any route that is needed to support a person to engage fully with the wider community. The Travel Trainer would identify the most important route and work with an individual to become confident on this route before moving onto another route if needed

Each person is different so we are able to tailor the support provided to each individual circumstances, on average there would be approximately 6 sessions

We endeavour to have the same person teach an individual, this is to encourage independence as the individual gets to know the Travel Trainer. As the relationship develops the Travel Trainer will be able to gauge if additional sessions are needed or if the individual is able to have fewer sessions

Each route is planned by an experienced Travel Trainer who has worked with individuals with a variety of conditions or disabilities, the abilities of each individual will be taken into account and the route adapted if need be for mobility needs. If the Travel Trainer doesn’t feel the original or suggested route is safe an alternative will be researched and proposed

Although delays and disruptions can cause concern for an individual, we will work with the person to plan around any potential issues. For example: If a bus is running late we would work with the individual to have a plan in place of who to contact to let them know they will be late.

If a bus or train time changes. We can have a refresher session to help plan the new timings and encourage. We can have another session to travel the new route with an individual

After an individual completes their Travel Training we will follow up after 3 months to check on how they are doing with the journey and to check if any changes have been made to the route.

Ability Travel work with young people from the age of 13 to those of retirement age and beyond. Most of the individuals we support will have some form of physical disability, learning disability or mental health condition

Useful Links

These links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only. We are not responsible for the content on external websites and the inclusion of a link on the Optalis website is not an endorsement of that website, its content, or any product or service it may provide. You do not have to use the external resources we link to.

  • CLASP - self-advocacy group for people with learning disabilities in the Wokingham Borough
  • Send Voices Wokingham - SEND Voices Wokingham is a Wokingham based, parent led charity. They are the independent voice of families, representing their experiences with the aim to improve lives.
  • SENDIASS Wokingham - free, confidential, impartial advice, guidance and support for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
  • Autism Berkshire - Autism charity in Berkshire, delivering specialist services, training and social and leisure activities throughout the county, guided by a team of trustees with personal and professional experience of autism.