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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

Families United Network

Holiday clubs are held at Unit 5 Britannia Estate, Leagrave Road, Luton, Beds , LU3 1RJ. Holiday clubs are a lifeline to families and offer practical support, a range of creative, stimulating and FUN activities for children and young people within a safe non-judgmental environment. Activities include: play equipment and sensory equipment, plus IT and games equipment, workshops, messy play, drama and music, reptile shows and lots of other FUN activities.

The Link Project helping young people with a disability or learning need/s to access peer friendship by take part in activities in their communities. Once a month two volunteers will take the young person out accessing transport and learning everyday life skills while having fun.

FUNlands Youth Club is held on a Monday night term time only at Unit 5, Britannia Estate, Leagrave Road, Luton, Beds , LU3 1RJ. FUNlands runs 6.30pm till 8.30 pm for young people aged 10 - 17 years old with additional needs/disabilities.

FUN Young Adult Club
FUN young adult for 18 – 25 years old on Tuesday evenings from 6.30pm – 8.30pm for young adults with additional needs (term time only). This is a safe environment for Young adults with learning disabilities to meet, socialise and take part in activities with their friends.

Saturday Club
Saturday Club is a full short break service offering young people with disabilities aged 10 – 25 years 1:1 support whilst accessing on and off site activities. Off site activities are local, such as swimming, bowling, cinema, picnics, sports etc. For more details please check the website: www.familiesunitednetwork.org.uk or call the office on 01582 420800.

Keech Swim - FUN hires Keech Hospice Hydrotherapy pool fortnightly offering families a swim session for those that need the sensory and stimulation of lights and the warmer water.

Hart Hill Adventure Playground - FUN exclusively hires Hart Hill Adventure Playground in partnership with Autism Beds and Fab Friendz. These sessions are a great activity for families.

01582 470999

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.

North Beds Toy Library

We are a small local charity (No 267822) which lends sensory aid equipment and toys to stimulate children with special needs to use in their homes with supervision from parents/carers. Local organisations have raised money so we can purchase the equipment from recognised manufacturers. We do not charge as we are a charity but do accept donations.

01234 407152

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)

SPECIAL NEEDS SUPPORT IN BEDFORD BOROUGH

We have a clear plan for children and young people in settings and schools so that we can identify early SEND needs and provide support through a process of good planning and reviewing. To this end we have produced two Graduated Response documents which outline and provide a clear message about responsibilities for early identification of need and what can be done to ensure plans are in place to support children and pupils with additional needs.