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Contact a Family is a national charity for families with disabled children

We provide information, advice and support. We bring families together so they can support each other. We campaign to improve their circumstances, and for their right to be included and equal in society.

Please click the link to open to the Contact A Family website

0808 808 3555

Down's Heart Group

Provides support and information for families and carers of people with Down's Syndrome and heart issues, specifically related to the heart but touching on other areas as affected by the medical problems.

03001 021644

Kids

We support over 13,500 disabled children, young people and their families every year by delivering over 120 services throughout England.

KIDS is unique; there is no other organisation dedicated to providing such an extensive range of services to disabled children and young people, aged 0-25 years, irrespective of their impairment or condition.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Services

East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) provides mental health services for people in Bedfordshire.

The service has been commissioned by Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG), in partnership with Central Bedfordshire Council and Bedford Borough Council.

We are committed to the ongoing development of mental health and learning disability services.


01525 864430

SENSE – Children's Specialist Services (CSS)

In order to be clear and open about the support we can provide to families we have developed a core offer of support which is available to all children and young people:

• We will get in touch within two working days from when you first contact Sense
• You will meet a Sense specialist within eight weeks of first getting in touch with us
• You will have your own identified worker
• You will have the opportunity to attend at least one family event per year
• We will keep in touch through an annual contact
• You will have access the information and advice service
• We will offer you the chance to join Sense through our membership programme
• An outcome of Sense supporting you may involve our working alongside your local authority to provide an individual service solution tailored to your needs.

This offer is provided through Sense’s work as a charity.

03003 309273

Sensory & Communication Support Team - Visual Impairment Team

The Visual Impairment Team is part of the Sensory & Communication Support Team (SCST). The team consists of 2 Qualified Teachers for Visually Impaired Pupils (QTVI), 4 Specialist Support Assistants (STA) and a Resources Officer/Technician.

We support children and young people who are aged 0-25, their families and staff. We visit home and educational settings in order to facilitate and monitor their access to learning.

We work with the relevant professionals and families to enable the CYP to access all aspects of the academic and social life of their educational setting. The QTVI or STA visits the CYP at agreed intervals according to need, using the National Sensory Impaired Partnership (NATSIP) eligibility criteria. The keyworker liaises with staff/ family on issues relating to the particular needs of the pupil. The team has strong links with other professionals who work with visually impaired CYP including Orthoptists, Paediatric Ophthalmologists and Mobility Officers.

Our work includes the following:
• Assessing access to the curriculum.
• The loan of specialist equipment and software as required by individual pupils.
Offering advice and support in the modification and differentiation of curricular materials.
• Providing INSET to schools/settings, (small group or whole staff), to raise awareness of the implications of teaching a pupil who has a visual impairment.
• Discussions with the pupil to ascertain and assess any problems or difficulties relating to their access to the curriculum due to a Visual Impairment.
• Discussions with parents / carers, SENCo and staff involved with the pupil
Contributing to IEPs
• Contributing to the statutory assessment process (EHCP) and Annual Reviews
• Writing reports for the school/setting, outlining observations and discussion points arising from the visit. This information will be shared with parents / carers and other professionals involved with the pupil as appropriate.

We currently run a half-termly group at the CDC for young VI children and their families.

We hold occasional ‘Leisure & Lifeskills’ sessions for CYP with severe Visual impairments who attend mainstream schools.

01234 300710

Sensory and Communication Support Team: Support for Pupils with Hearing Impairment

The Hearing Impaired Team is part of the Sensory & Communication Support Team (S&CST). We support children and young people aged 0-25, their carers /families and staff in educational settings. All Bedford Borough pre-school children diagnosed with a hearing loss are visited at home and/or in their pre-school setting in order to facilitate and monitor speech, language and communication development. In Bedford Borough’s mainstream and special schools, including the Hearing Impaired Provision, pupils who have a hearing impairment are offered support from a qualified Teacher of the Deaf (ToD). Pupils who have hearing aids/cochlear implants are seen regularly; advice is given regarding pupils who have temporary fluctuating hearing difficulties or who have a unilateral hearing loss.

The HI team aims to work with the relevant professionals and parents/carers to enable the pupil to access all aspects of the academic and social life of the educational setting. The ToD visits the pupil at agreed intervals according to need, as identified in conjunction with the National Sensory Impaired Partnership (NATSIP) eligibility criteria. The ToD. liaises with a designated member of staff on issues relating to the particular needs of the pupil. The team liaises with, refers to and receives referrals from other agencies as appropriate e.g. Speech and Language Therapy.

Role of the qualified Teacher of the Deaf

• Visits to pre-school children at home, in clinic and the educational setting
• Observation of school age pupils in class as appropriate
• Discussion with the pupil to ascertain and assess any problems of difficulties
• Discussion with the SENCo and staff involved with the pupil
• Under discussion with the SENCo, contribute to an IEP
• Contribute to the statutory assessment process and to annual reviews
• Acoustic check and maintenance of hearing aids and FM systems
• Carry out language assessments
• Offer advice on modification and differentiation of curricular materials
• Provide INSET to the school/setting, either small group or whole staff to raise awareness of the implications of a hearing loss in the classroom.
• Write a report following each visit the school/setting outlining observations and discussion points arising from the session. This may include practical advice relating to the hearing impaired pupil to be shared with all relevant staff. Any action points will be recorded. This information will be shared with parents / carers and other professionals involved with the pupil as appropriate
• Follow Local Authority Guidelines on Safeguarding Children

01234 300710 (voice & text)