Kentucky School for the Deaf acquires new specialized bus for students

Meeting notice graphic featuring the Kentucky Department of Education and United We Learn logos

News Release

Media Contact: Jennifer Ginn

Director of Communications

Office: (502) 564-2000, ext. 4601

Advisory 24-118


May 3, 2024

Photo shows a school bus

Kentucky School for the Deaf acquires new specialized bus for students

(FRANKFORT, KY) – The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) has received a new bus for students at the Kentucky School for the Deaf (KSD), tailored to fit the needs of the school’s diverse student population.

“KSD, like many of our local school districts, has been impacted by delays in the delivery of school buses, but we are very happy to receive delivery of a customized bus that will help meet the diverse needs of our students,” said Interim Commissioner of Education Robin Fields Kinney.

The bus features full-size seats and four wheelchair positions, rooftop air conditioning, cruise control and luggage boxes. Safety features include a passive collision system, a camera system that includes a backup camera and stop arm camera, GPS and seatbelts for every seat.

A wheelchair lift for a school bus

The new Kentucky School for the Deaf bus has wheelchair lifts to help students. Photo by Joe Ragusa, Kentucky Department of Education, May 2, 2024

"The introduction of this specialized bus marks a transformative moment for countless students at KSD. It promises to extend our ability to connect with the community, offering diverse experiences for our Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing students of all ages while also greatly enhancing the reach and scope of our residential student life program,” said KSD Interim Principal Lynn Petrey. “Being a part of Kentucky's 201-year legacy in Deaf education makes this achievement all the more meaningful."

KDE Pupil Transportation Branch Manager Elisa Hanley said the bus will enable KSD to easily facilitate group travel while promoting an inclusive environment with a custom-designed floor plan that is the first of its kind in the Commonwealth.

“Ultimately, the goal is to allow all students to be with their peers during field trips,” said Hanley. “It will also provide KSD with a way to transport all students at one time for an emergency evacuation if it is ever needed.”

The bus, which is owned and operated by KDE, will become available for use by KSD immediately.