Auditory Verbal UK - CEO appointment highlights ambition of 'no barriers for deaf children'
Auditory VerbalUK (AVUK), a national charity working with deaf children and their families, has appointed Anita Grover as its new Chief Executive to succeed Jacqueline Stokes.
To read the press release in full please click here and to see a photo of Anita please click here.
Anita Grover said: "It is a great honour to be chosen to lead AVUK which is quite simply transforming the lives of deaf children and their families. With recent Department for Education figures showing the gap widening between the educational achievement of deaf and hearing children, there has never been a more important time to invest in an early intervention approach that improves the life chances of deaf children, while delivering long-term savings to national and local budgets."
The charity's work has been nationally recognised with a GlaxoSmithKline IMPACT Award for 'Excellence in Community Healthcare'. It has recently opened a new centre in London in addition to its base in Oxfordshire. Anita Grover comes to AVUK from a senior civil service background where she directed Government marketing and communications campaigns and worked on a range of social policy issues at the Departments of Education, Social Security and Work and Pensions. Anita also brings insight into hearing impairment as someone who is profoundly deaf herself.
Communication Matters - A right to a voice
Communications Matters, the lead UK organisation dedicated to supporting children and adults who need Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), has responded to The Disabilities Trust’s release about one of their service users, Kevin Beverley, being enabled to speak for the first time in 20 years with the use of an iPad.
Cathy Harris, Chair of Communication Matters, says: “Kevin’s story has captured public attention and highlights in a powerful way that each and every person has the right to a voice. Kevin is not alone, in the UK today 26,000 children and adults need access to specialist AAC services and equipment.
“We believe the real question is why Kevin, and others like him, are made to wait years and years for support that is already available and makes a monumental difference? We also need to increase awareness of the full range of AAC solutions that are available. The iPad is well known because it is a mainstream product in the public domain, however there is not only one solution available for all people in Kevin’s situation.
“AAC devices enable children and adults to communicate. This helps them to live more independent lives, to be involved in decisions that affect them and importantly to develop friendships and relationships with others. However to ensure that children and adults gain maximum benefits from their communication device they don’t only require their aid to be funded but need funding for ongoing support from professionals.
To read the full press release please click here.
Contact a Family - Latest research on illegal exclusions
Contact a Family knows that illegal exclusions are common from their experience in working with disabled children and their families. However, they wanted to find out more - how often do illegal exclusions happen and what is the impact on family life?
Falling through the net - Illegal exclusions, the experiences of families with disabled children in England and Wales (2013) found children with a disability, SEN or additional needs are routinely illegally excluded from school, almost a quarter (22%) are illegally excluded every week and 15% every day. This is having a devastating impact on their education and mental health. For parents, half report they are unable to work due to the impact of illegal exclusions on family life. Parents also repeatedly talked about the additional pressure put on their relationship with a partner or other children in the family.
The report makes a series of recommendations and it is hoped that it will raise awareness and prompt parents to seek advice from the Contact a Family helpline on 0808 808 3555.
To read the report in full please click here.
I CAN - Early Language Development Programme free training ends March 2013
Go to http://eldp.talkingpoint.org.uk/ or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
As you read this, the debate continues about early years practitioners’ skills / qualifications and the importance of support for the prime areas of learning. The Early Language Development Programme (ELDP) tackles this head on with the final few spaces still available to access free training before the end of March 2013.
The Government’s recent report ‘More Great Childcare’ recognises the need for skilled staff to achieve high quality childcare and good outcomes for children. As communication and language is one of the three prime areas in the foundation stage, I CAN is keen to make sure that staff have skills and knowledge to support this key area of development. The ELDP supports staff working with very young children (those under 3 years).
So far, 827 lead practitioners have been trained, giving them training materials and toolkits to share their knowledge with a range of practitioners and parents in their local area. Cascade activity is increasing with 3,641 practitioners having received training in their local areas. Cascade support is available from the team of ELDP communication advisors based within I CAN.
If you are able to provide lead practitioners to attend the two day training and upskill others, the final dates for training are:
Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 March, Cheshire East
Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 March, Bristol
Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 March, Basingstoke
KIDS launches free suite of resources to support families with disabled children using personal budgets
KIDS is a national charity that works with disabled children, young people and their families. As part of the 'Making it Personal' project, sponsored by the Department for Education, KIDS has worked with a number of partners to develop a new suite of resources to explore how personal budgets can be used to their best advantage.
OPM, Disability Rights UK, In Control, NAFIS and the Daycare Trust have worked together with KIDS to develop guidance for commissioners and others in children's services on how to commission for personalisation, along with a handbook for parents and carers of disabled children on what personal budgets are and how they can be used.
This work was developed in response to the Department for Education's Green Paper Support and Aspiration: A new approach to special educational needs and disability (DfE 2011).
- Anyone wishing to access the Commissioner's Guidance can download it here.
- Parents and carers of disabled children can download the Parent's Handbook here.
An eLearning package for parents and carers is under development and will be released during March 2013, supported by regional events. For more information on this please email email@example.com
If you want to find out more about the 'Making it Personal' project, you can find more information by clicking here.
National Deaf Children Society - Celebrity campaign film for deaf children
Jim Carter, who plays Carson in Downton Abbey, and London 2012 Paralympics Bronze medallist Ben Rushgrove appear alongside deaf children in the film which was launched this week to promote the charity's Stolen Futures campaign. The campaign has uncovered that one in three councils across England are cutting services which are crucial for deaf children's education and development.
To find out more about the Stolen Futures campaign please click here.
Scarlett Johnson of BBC's Pramface and deaf percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, who led a team of drummers in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, also feature in the film. They urge people to sign the charity's e-petition to secure a Parliamentary debate on the issue and force the Government to take responsibility for the cuts being made to deaf children's services.