Encouraging children, including those with disabilities, to be physically active and participate in Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a vital component of the program. Today, children are less active than previous generations and childhood obesity has risen to the highest levels ever recorded within the past several years. Children with disabilities are at an even greater risk than their peers without disabilities since their symptom’s may impact their ability to participate in physical activity and opportunities are typically not provided or offered as often than for children without disabilities. Inclusion in SRTS may not only enable children with disabilities to achieve important health benefits but also they can gain independence by learning important life skills about safe walking and bicycling and build relationships with peers.
This research study was conducted to collect information on methods and strategies that will allow New Jersey SRTS to become a leader and national model for inclusiveness of students with disabilities in statewide SRTS programs. Contained in this report are: an overview of disability categories and associated challenges, the importance of inclusion, a synopsis of how children with disabilities are included in SRTS nationwide, and suggestions and strategies on broadening awareness and increase inclusion of children with disabilities in SRTS throughout New Jersey.
Read the full report: SRTS Outreach to Children with Disabilities (PDF)