FestABLE is the first national festival in the country that is dedicated entirely to specialist learning takes place on June 2, hosted by National Star College.
FestABLE sees professionals, parents and young people coming together to discuss some of the major problems young people with disabilities and learning difficulties have to deal with.
National Star College in Gloucestershire - which recently gained outstanding ratings in all sections of both Ofsted and Care Quality Commission categories – is hosting the event.
Dame Christine Lenehan, author of the review These Are Our Children, is the key note speaker and the day brings others together who are at the forefront of their fields. The discussions and presentations will cover important topics such as a review of the Children and Families Act, finding the balance between providing services and ensuring young people have choices and building a SEND workforce.
“There is a growing desire to talk about what will work better for young people with disabilities and learning difficulties and how all of us - professionals, parents and the young people - can make difficult things possible. FestABLE will be an opportunity to talk about what’s challenging all of us involved in Special Educational Needs and find paths ahead for all the learners and their families,” said David Ellis, Chief Executive of National Star.
Blogger and director of Special Needs Jungle Renata Blower will talk to media student and disability rights campaigner Joshua Reeves about education for young people with complex needs in one of three These Are Our Children sessions. These also include sometimes humorous discussion about social exclusion, emotional conflict and the search for autonomy.
A TwoCan theatre workshop and performance brings a David McKee story to life with sign language and audio description. Another workshop explores listening, touching on what facial expressions and body language show whether you’re listening or not.
And drop-in sessions include a legal surgery and accessible sports and there is a circus-themed immersive sensory space.
The festival village has art workshops, fairground activities, live music and quiet areas, and a chance to play boccia and polybat.