Tasmanian health professionals can apply for free enrolment in a first-of-its-kind training course to improve road safety for children with disabilities and medical conditions.

The Department of State Growth Community Road Safety Grants has funded 40 places for eligible health professionals in the new online training course Transporting Children with Disabilities and Medical Conditions.

This includes five places for therapists at St Giles, a Tasmanian disability support provider based in Launceston, Burnie and Hobart.

Mobility and Accessibility for Children in Australia (MACA) launched the online training course in mid-2022 to build the knowledge and confidence of allied health professionals responsible for assessing and prescribing for children’s motor vehicle transport needs.

Children with disabilities and medical conditions often require specialised support for transport and in some cases are unable to travel in ‘off the shelf’ car seats. Health professionals work closely with families to assess children’s transport needs and prescribe appropriate strategies and vehicle restraint products.

MACA chief executive Helen Lindner said since it was launched, the training has made a difference for families.

“It is leading to better outcomes for families and reducing NDIS funding wait times for special purpose car seats, which are needed by some children with disabilities, and medical conditions for safer and more comfortable travel.”

The course features contributions from experts in child restraints, research, road safety and health, and participants learn how to embed safe transport planning into day-to-day practice. Participants receive a copy of the MACA Guide prescribing resource.

Applications for round one for the fully funded places are open until April 14, 2023, and allocated through an expression of interest (EOI) process. Eligible Tasmanian health professionals are encouraged to apply online as soon as possible, as the free enrolment will end once the places have been filled.

Photo: Tasmania deputy premier, Michael Ferguson, MACA chief executive Helen Lindner and St Giles Allied Health operating officer, Trent McHugh.