Help is available to make travel cheaper for children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND). There are services that can help anyone with a disability to move around Dorset more independently.
Discounts on public transport
You may be able to get:
- free off-peak bus travel; apply for a disabled person's bus pass
- a third off rail travel for you and a friend; apply for a disabled person's railcard
Travel to school and college
Most children and young people get to school with their parents or carers, or on their own if they're older. This may not be possible for some people with special educational needs or disability (SEND) because:
- their school is too far away
- they're unable to walk
- they're not able to use public transport in the same way as other children
We can support travel arrangements for these children and young people. Find out how we can provide travel assistance for young people over 16 years.
We can help you go to the nearest suitable school by providing:
- a personal travel budget (PTB)
- a bus pass
- a school bus, minibus or taxi service
- an escort to walk you to school
Reassessment of travel support
You may be able to get a bus pass. A bus pass gives you free bus travel in Dorset. You can use the bus pass:
- Monday to Friday during off-peak times
- any time during the weekend or on public holidays (bank holidays)
If you're blind or partially sighted you can get free travel throughout the week.
Find out if you can get a bus pass.
If you need to travel during peak time and you're in college or further education you may be able to get a student bus pass. A student bus pass will make your travel cheaper. Contact a Dorset bus operator to find out what your options are.
Community transport services can help you if you have trouble getting around or you don't want to use public transport.
There's a range of community transport schemes available to people with a disability, such as Dial-a-bus and NeighbourCar schemes around Dorset. These include:
- voluntary care schemes
- car sharing
- flexible bus services where there are no set routes so the bus stops at your chosen stop if you book in advance
- mini buses and vehicles for hire
Your child may qualify for a disabled person's rail card. This railcard can get you a third off rail travel throughout the country.
There are opportunities for people with SEND to get started or join a group:
- Wessex Accessible Cycling Club
- Moors Valley Dorset Wheels for All is a programme that helps children and adults with disabilities to cycle
- Cycling Without Age, Weymouth
You can find advice, support and schools offering lessons for people with a disability if you want to learn to drive:
- Motability: learn to drive if you have a disability
- Wessex Drivability is a charitable organisation that helps people with a disability learn to drive
- QEF Driving School offers driving lessons and advice about adapting your car
- National Autistic Society gives you details about learning to drive, including financial help if you have autism
- Driving Mobility help people who struggle with mobility gain independence through driving
- Disabled Motoring UK provide information on mobility and signpost to useful services, including insurance and finding an accessible vehicle
- learning disabilities and driving information from GOV.UK
Help with the cost of driving
You can get help with the cost of learning to drive and keeping a car on the road. To help with costs you may be able to get:
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP) which helps with mobility costs
- a Blue Badge which allows you to park in extra places to other drivers
- an NUS Extra card which can get you discounted driving lessons
- welfare benefits and student discounts
- vehicle tax exemption or reduction
Disabled parking and Blue Badges
You can apply for a Blue Badge to help them park closer to their destination, either as a driver or a passenger. You can also display a Blue Badge in a car where you're a passenger.
You can apply on behalf of your child. There's no age limit and they don't need to be able to drive.
You can get white lines for a disabled parking space near your home.
Contact your local taxi service to find out if they can support your needs.
If you have an assistance dog, the taxi or minicab must allow your dog in their vehicle. They can only say no if they have an exemption certificate. This is a yellow 'notice of exemption' notice displayed on their windscreen.
Search for accessible taxis that are suitable for wheelchairs.
Wheelchairs and scooters
Wheelchairs through the NHS
You may be able to get a wheelchair from the Dorset Wheelchair Service (NHS) if you:
- have a long-term need
- have a medical condition that will last more than 6 months
- are unable to walk properly
- are terminally ill
Your doctor or another health professional can refer you to the service. You will then get assessed to see if your eligible. After this they will decide and will give you any equipment they think you need.
If you do not want an NHS wheelchair you can have a voucher instead. You can then use this to buy any wheelchair.
The service can also support with posture and repair NHS wheelchairs.
Find out about wheelchairs, scooters and walking aids from the NHS.
Lease a scooter or powered wheelchair
If you get a mobility allowance, you could lease a mobility vehicle from Motability. This includes a scooter, powered wheelchair or a car. To do so you must be getting one of the following: