The recent SEND reforms mean that disabled children and young people and those with SEN have a right to receive direct and impartial information, advice and support (IAS) on matters relating to their SEN/Disability. IAS should be provided to children and young people covering education, health and social care. The Information, Advice and Support Services Network (IASSN), hosted at CDC, have developed a new website which aims to help disabled children and young people and those with SEN better understand what rights they have for accessing information, advice and support across education, health and social care. The website also contains full contact details for IAS Services across England. To view please click on the link below:
Portsmouth Independent Support - News
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
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
- EHCP assessment
- Transition to EHCP
Part 2 answers questions on:
- Post 16
- Personal budgets
- Alternative Provision
To view please click on the links below:
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
While 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:
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 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.”
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