Sunday, 18 February 2018

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Dene Dunn

Dene Dunn

Hi my name is Dene and I work for Portsmouth Disability Forum maintaining and developing their websites. We are always looking to improve our website and welcome any feedback you may have as this helps us to create a website that is easy to navigate, understand and meets your information needs. If you have any suggestions please feel free to email me (denedunn@blueyonder.co.uk).

The healthy policy team at CDC have been working with the National Children’s Bureau to create a brand new website promoting children and young people’s rights when using the NHS. It is called www.getyourrights.org 

Children and young people often don’t know what their rights are when using the NHS, but knowing these rights can make a big difference.

The website has been developed by the Council for Disabled Children in partnership with children and young people, and they really want to know how they’ve done. Please encourage children and young people to look at the website and give feedback through this online survey https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GYRprizedraw

They can enter a prize draw to one of two £25 shopping vouchers for taking part. The survey closes at the end of January and the prize draw winner will be notified shortly after.  If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact Andrew Fellowes Afellowes@ncb.org.uk

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IOY January 2016 The January issue of 'Impacting on You' produced by Portsmouth Parent Voice is now available and includes lots of useful information. 

Please click on the link below to view:

pdfIOY_January 2016.pdf

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In November last year the Special Needs Jungle asked that parents submit their top ten questions for the DfE about their experiences of the new SEND System. After working through all the submissions they sent 10 'themes' with all the questions categorised under each theme so that the DfE could get a good look at the range of concerns being raised. 

They have now received a response from Stuart Miller, Deputy Director of SEND at the DfE and published the response on their website. As the answers were quite lengthy they have published the responses in 2 parts.

Part 1 answers questions on:

  • SEN Support
  • Inclusion
  • Training
  • EHCP assessment
  • Transition to EHCP

Part 2 answers questions on:

  • Provision
  • Post 16
  • Appeals
  • Personal budgets
  • Alternative Provision

To view please click on the links below:

The DfE answers your top 10 questions on the changes to SEND education - Part 1

The DfE answers your top 10 questions on the changes to SEND education - Part 2

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Does your child have Dyslexia, or a learning difficlulty and finds spelling and reading difficult? TTRS is a structured phonics program that aims to develop literacy skills, confidence, self­-esteem and motivation through a modular course. It is available both for home and school environments, and may be a way to enhance and improve your child's learning, whilst giving them the skills to touch type.

For more information click HERE

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IOY December 2015 The December issue of 'Impacting on You' produced by Portsmouth Parent Voice is now available and includes lots of useful information. 

Please click on the link below to view:

pdfIOY_December_2015.pdf

 

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childcare-affordability-trapsocialmedia 499x635While many parents with disabled children juggle jobs with complex care arrangements against the odds, too often they are forced to cut hours or give up careers due to childcare problems.

Although there is a noticeable political focus on childcare more generally, the issue of childcare for disabled children remains neglected. 

Contact A Family are asking you to help them improve the Childcare Bill by writing to you MP.

Contact a Family want

  • Disabled children to be able to access childcare that helps them to progress, learn and make friends, and enables their mums and dads to work as much as they want.
  • The cap on eligible childcare costs for disabled children via tax credits and Universal Credit to be lifted to £300.
  • No disabled child to be stopped from accessing their free early years entitlement at two, three and four years of age.
  • Childcare providers and local authorities to work together to offer good quality, flexible childcare for every disabled child.
  • Information to enable families to make choices about the childcare available to them locally that meets their individual needs.


To find out more about their campaign and how you can write to your MP please visit their web site:

http://www.cafamily.org.uk/get-involved/campaigning/childcare/

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Are you thinking about buying a gift for a child or young person with sight loss this Christmas but aren’t sure what makes a suitable present? Blind Children UK has created handy guide with lots of ideas to help get you started:

Babies and Toddlers 

Babies with an eye condition may need encouragement to reach, to explore and to understand the world around them. You may want to think about:

  • Moving parts that are fun to wiggle, switch, pull or press.
  • Sound – bells on socks, crackly fabric, rattles, musical tunes.
  • Texture – different fabrics, dimpled or squeezy toys.
  • Bright contrasting colours or black and white contrast. 
  • Tactile books and audio books.
  • Toys with lights, (depending on the eye condition and child’s needs)
  • Ways of organising toys i.e. a soft ‘toy bin’ or ‘treasure basket to help toddlers find things

Pre-school and Primary school

Children know their own minds and develop their interests and hobbies as they grow. Depending on what they enjoy, you could consider:

  • Accessible ways of reading for example CustomEyes large print books or aCustomEyes gift certificate.
  • Toys to play with other children for example accessible board games.
  • Introducing accessible technology. 
  • Sports or outdoor equipment for example foam balls or balls with bells inside.
  • Accessible equipment for hobbies like baking or crafts; for example talking devices, bright colours, colour contrasts, possibly large print ‘how to’ books.
  • You could make standard toys and games more accessible by adding tactile elements or large print.

Teenagers

Teenagers generally have very specific likes and dislikes. But why not try:

  • Favourite foods i.e. a big box of chocolates. 
  • Some scented body spray and shower gel.
  • Encouraging physical activity with fashionable workout gear or membership to a suitable sports club. 
  • Technology gifts for example nice headphones, a charger, music or audio book download gift cards.
  • A gift card for a clothing store they like, and maybe offer to go with them on the shopping trip.
  • Encouraging independence for example cooking equipment and support to use it safely, a bus or train pass after they’ve learnt travel skills.
  • Experiences together – a day out doing something new.

Lisa Petrie from Blind Children UK works with children who have sight loss as well as those with additional complex needs.

She said: “I get asked about this all year round and my main advice to someone buying a present for a child with sight loss, is keep it simple. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive, it could be something like a treasure basket filled with household items.

“Natural fibres are good, as opposed to having everything in plastic, and it’s good to go for harder sometimes rougher materials. Often it’s the softer materials that children dislike because they can’t really get hold of them and they just tickle.

“Another tip would be to think about cause and effect toys where you turn or press something and something happens, and things which involve music are always good.”

For more information please see the gift guide infographic or call 0800 781 1444 or email: services@blindchildrenuk.org

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Families with disabled children who get:

  • certain means-tested benefits, or 
  • child tax credit, and
  • receive a disabled child’s premium in their award

are now included in the ‘broader category’ of people who can apply for help under the Warm Homes Discount scheme. (This is a win from our Counting the Costs campaign!)

The disabled child’s premium is an extra amount paid if a child counts as disabled, and should be listed on the award notice.
We are urging families to contact their energy supplier as soon as possible to apply under the broader scheme as awards are given on a first-come-first-served basis.

Please click on the following link  Help With Fuel Bills and Keeping Warm

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It's that time of year again when we are all starting our Christmas shopping and if you are a parent of a child with additional needs being able to involve them is even more of a challenge. The bright lights the noise; the people rushing about can be far too much for them to deal with (a sensory invasion) however, giving them a chance to choose presents for their siblings and friends is important.

This Sunday (15th November) from 10 – 11am Toys"R"Us in Portsmouth  are opening early to enable families with children on the spectrum an opportunity to shop in more relaxed setting. The lights will be dimmed, there will no music playing and staff will have been advised and trained to deal with situations in a more suitable way. This will be a great opportunity to shop in the peace and quiet and ensure your children can share the experience.   

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Next week is Anti-Bullying week (16th - 20th November) and its purpose is to raise awareness of bullying and to help stop it.

Bullying can take many different forms and can take place in school, travelling to and from school and even in the local neighbourhood. Verbal bullying can be just as damaging, if not more damaging than physical bullying.  Why?  Because it really attacks us mentally.  Name-calling, constant teasing, abusive comments can all have a long-term impact. 

Bullying can result in the victim having a low self esteem, poor school performance, depression, increased feelings of isolation, even thoughts of self-harm. Bullying is not just a problem for a minority of children; it is a widespread problem that can upset and disrupt a child's emotional, physical and intellectual development. One of the biggest reasons bullying isn’t tackled is because victims are too scared to speak up.  Bullying is a serious issue that should be challenged and the more it is, the better chance we have at beating it!  Bullying is deliberate and almost always a repeated behaviour; sometimes carrying on into adult life.

BullyingUK have provided some advice for parents about bullying; it covers lots of issues such as:

A guide to dealing with bullying  for parents of disabled children Front page Page 01If you are worried that your child may be being bullied the Anti-bullying Steering Group published a guide for dealing with bullying for parents of disabled children. The guide contains information about spotting the signs of bullying, the action you can take, your child’s rights and stories and tips from other parents.

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