Opportunities in the community for disabled children and young people and for those with special educational needs
There are various specialist groups and activities for children and young people with SEND in the county. They are also entitled to go to any group or activity they wish to – not just the groups designed especially for them. Every organisation is legally required to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to avoid discrimination. Gloucestershire is steadily getting better at enabling this to happen successfully.
Some activities and groups may not be aware of the support available to you and them, so do share this information with any community organisation you are interested in your child attending, as it may help them welcome your child/young person.
Family Information Service
Lots of info about things in Gloucestershire for children and families. Brokers can help you find suitable settings/groups for your child or young person.
www.glosfamiliesdirectory.org.uk Tel. 0800 542 02 02
The Local Offer is part of the Family Information Service. It brings together information for families with disabled children and young people with SEN (aged 0-25), all gathered on one website.
The Local Offer includes a list of settings and groups with a particular interest or specialism in welcoming children and young people with SEND.
The Key is also part of the Family Information Service. It is the county’s information and advice service specifically for families with disabled children/young people with special educational needs aged 0-25. It is a good idea to become a member (free!) as you will get access to lots of useful information.
www.keywords.org.uk Tel. 0800 0093443 firstname.lastname@example.org
Inclusion Coordinators are part of the county council’s Enablement Team. They link an individual child/young person with a club or activity that the young person wishes to attend, working with both to help that young person settle in. The Coordinators may be able to get extra support from other experts such as the Positive Behaviour Support Service and Inclusion Occupational Therapists. Sometimes they may be able to access additional funding to support a young person’s inclusion.
SEND Early Help Advisers
The Advisers work mostly with early years settings to help them welcome and work successfully with your child.
Ruth Price – Gloucester North, Cheltenham and Cotswolds – 07796 610496
Kim Nicholls – Forest and Tewkesbury – 07796 610433
Catherine Hardwick – Gloucester South, Stroud and Dursley – 07909 937184
Active Impact is a community organisation paid by the county council to help extend opportunities for disabled children and young people, especially alongside non-disabled young people.
Their Of Course We Can programme has a mixture of exciting 48 hour residential events and other fun activity groups over a series of long days. Each event is for a small group of disabled children/young people (including those with physical or sensory impairments, learning difficulties/disabilities, or on the autism spectrum) together with some non-disabled young people.
They also run the Mobiloo – available to families and organisations for realistic hire charges – which is a vehicle equipped with a hoist and changing table.
And they run Inclusion Needs You training programmes, for staff and volunteers in ordinary community provision who would like to develop their skills and confidence to include disabled children and young people in their groups, activities and settings.