Netflix, Disney and Target have all faced lawsuits alleging their websites offer poor accessibility for the disabled. It makes no sense to wait for US guidelines, now expected in 2018, to end an era of digital discriminationEvery few months, a new laws…
The proposed closure of the Royal School for Deaf Children in Margate raises issues around inclusion in mainstream schools (Parents battle to save oldest school for deaf in UK, 24 December). Mainstream school staff (particularly teachers, teaching assistants and SEN co-ordinators) who work with children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (which includes hearing impaired children) need professional training in order to fully include these young people in the academic and social life of the school. This training is often missing or underprioritised, and sometimes occurs reactively rather than in an anticipatory way, ie, once a child is to be admitted to the school, not before.
One solution to this is to raise the profile of this training in teacher training programmes; sometimes training teachers are given an “SEND day/week” as a discrete component of their training, rather than having it embedded, and thus normalised, throughout their course. This reinforces the idea that SEND children are somehow separate from other children, which perception is the antithesis of inclusion. Ideas around, for example, an adapted curriculum, assistive technology and individualised teaching and learning can benefit all students, not only those with SEND. Provision and implementation of whole-school inclusion training and ethos is random in today’s fragmented educational landscape and is conspicuously lacking from policymaking by both Michael Gove and Nicky Morgan as education secretary; the well-intentioned 2014 SEND Code of Practice (produced jointly by the Departments of Education and Health) is an aspirational piece of legislation that will only achieve its aims if priority is given to the training needs of colleagues in mainstream schools.
Max Fishel (assistant headteacher, special education)
Charity worker and campaigner for young adults with disabilities also among those recognised for services to local communities in New Year list
The overwhelming number of honours – 76% – go to people known and appreciated for services in their local communities.
Marie Hanson, 50, a former beauty therapist from Wandsworth, south-west London, receives the MBE for her charity Storm, which provides support for people in the area subject to unemployment and abuse, particularly women who have experienced domestic abuse, or girls caught up in gang culture.
Nicola Davies’ new book Perfect (gloriously illustrated by Cathy Fisher) explores a boy dealing with the birth of a disabled sister, and how watching swifts helps transform his initial shock and grief into acceptance and delight
People working in the sector share their wishes for the new year
riverdre: “As a social worker in adult social care can I add to the wish-list having enough care workers in local care agencies so we don’t have to rely on crisis teams, who are also now buckling under the pressure.”
@GdnSocialCare for more funding and a higher profile raised nationally about it’s value, esp. in mental health practice
@GdnSocialCare A wish for greater social activism and political social work & care – positive change for everyone!
@GdnSocialCare Christmas wish A cap on profits that can be made from Health and Social care contracts so that more is spent on the frontline
@GdnSocialCare Fairer funding for people with complex needs, so they can thrive in a community, not exist isolated in an institution.
My wishlist for social care at Christmas (as ever) is integrated funding. Hard but necessary. @GdnSocialCare
@GdnSocialCare Christmas wish equality with physical health services for mental health services, easier access to personal budgets.
In the buildup to the World Humanitarian Summit in May, we must ensure that marginalised groups are no longer neglected by humanitarian workOver the past two years, more than 23,000 people have shared their views on how future emergency responses shoul…
After the murder of the disabled refugee research is needed into why disability hate crime happens – and police forces need to work together
Bijan Ebrahimi was targeted by his neighbours, accused falsely of being a paedophile and, finally, beaten to death in July 2013 by Lee James, who is serving a prison sentence for murder. James bears the ultimate responsibility for his death.
Stephen Norley, another neighbour, was sentenced to four years for assisting an offender. However, the police officers who failed to recognise Bijan’s repeated cries for help, turned him away, and treated him with disbelief, rudeness and contempt, bear their share of responsibility too. So do Avon and Somerset police, which trained those police officers, and took far too long to apologise for its failings.
Jess Thom’s tics from Tourette syndrome can be funny, but people often suppress their laughter for fear of causing offence. This, she says, shows how hard it can be to deal with people who are different from us. But by having an open conversation about disability and difference, she argues, the barriers between us become smaller
The world’s largest toy company is excluding 150 million disabled children by failing to positively represent them in its products
How many Lego mini-figures live on your street? With a planet-wide population of 4 billion, there are sure to be a few plastic folk nestling down the back of a sofa near you. But for all the mini-figures in the world, Lego does not produce a single one with a wheelchair or a disability.
When the seed of Lego (Danish for “play well”) was first planted back in the 1930s by Danish philanthropist Ole Kirk Kristiansen, the company’s vision was to cultivate creative play and contribute towards healthy child development. Today, Lego is the largest toy company in the world with annual sales topping £2.8bn. It’s a sprawling super-brand with tentacles not just in the brick box, but also suckering on to films, games, merchandising, leisure and publishing to create an all-permeating brand experience that is hard to escape.
The reasons that deaths of people with learning disabilities may not be investigated are many (Pressure on Hunt over NHS deaths, 21 December). At one level there may be the fear of trusts and health boards that sheer negligence will be identified, as perhaps highlighted by Monica Clifford’s long battle to find out more about her sister’s death (A family’s fight for answers, 21 December). At another level there is the continuing ignorance and misunderstanding by health service professionals about what having a learning disability means.
During my career as a clinical psychologist in several NHS services for people with learning disabilities I was frequently asked to address “behavioural challenges” of people whose actions were simply their only way of showing they had a physical problem: the man with Down’s syndrome refusing to leave the house, who turned out to have had a heart attack; the woman refusing to eat, who had bronchial pneumonia; the boy with autism severely self-harming, who had a burst appendix.