disabilities

Supported Employment course kicks off for 5th year

Group of students at Supported Employment course

Optalis’ Supported Employment service has successfully launched the fifth year of its Ace@Optalis course, welcoming young students from the learning disability department at Reading College who are looking to secure employment. 

The ultimate goal of the Ace@Optalis course is to support students to achieve paid employment and work towards gaining independence in their role.

Thirteen students looking to secure careers in a variety of industries – including catering, retail and horticulture - have joined the course this year, which is held at social care provider Optalis’ Head Office.

World Autism Awareness Week: Early signs of autism and tips for coping

Early Signs Of Autism Dr Paschos

On World Autism Awareness week, we speak to Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Dimitrios Paschos on the importance of early diagnosis and how to spot the signs of autism in babies and toddlers.

Autism affects more than 1 in 100 people in the UK, according to the National Autistic Society, with an estimated 700,000 people in the UK on the autism spectrum. Statistically, autism is more prevalent in males than females, with a ratio of 5:1 living with the condition in the UK.

It’s a lifelong condition, with no cure however many people develop coping mechanisms to mask and manage the symptoms. Many children with autism grow up to live independent lives, whilst others live with support from family and social services.

Stars of ITV’s Doc Martin gather for charity Christmas concert

Popular television couple reunite for longstanding festive celebration to raise money for people with learning disabilities.
 
Actors Martin Clunes, OBE, and Caroline Catz, who portray on-screen couple Martin Ellingham and Louisa Glasson in ITV’s Doc Martin, will be coming together for a candlelit evening of seasonal music and readings at Dorchester Abbey on December 8th 2016.
 
Now in its 22nd year, The Coming of Christmas is a much-loved annual concert organised by Hft, a national charity for people with learning disabilities, of which Martin is a patron.
 

Rise in involvement for people with learning disability issues

learning disability

A new twist has been given to the campaign for person-centred care launched earlier this year by The Regard Group, the UK’s fourth largest private organisation providing supported living and residential services for people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and acquired brain injury.

Following on from Regard’s push for improved focus on service users being at the centre of their own care, the organisation is now calling for learning disability and mental health care provision to be not just person-centred but person-led.

Sandie Foxall-Smith, CEO of Regard, said: “Our ambition is to empower those we support to be fully involved not just in their own care but in the bigger decisions that affect the homes where they live.

Shiver me timbers they're all talking like pirates at highdowns

Talking_Like_Pirates

Buccaneers and scallywags waved the Jolly Roger and had fun walking the plank during ‘Talk Like A Pirate’ day at Highdowns, a rural service for people with learning disabilities near Camborne, Cornwall.

Service manager, Jenna Betts, said: “Today is ‘International Talk Like A Pirate Day’ so we’ve all given it a bit of the old heave-ho to plan a fun-filled pirate-themed day as a fundraiser in aid of MIND.

“We were ho-ho-hoping for a good turn-out, having invited quite a number of landlubbers – friends and family – to join us for the day, and we weren’t disappointed.

“Fancy dress was optional, but our service users love the excuse to dress up, so there have been a lot of eye-patches, pirate hats and skulls and cross-bones around today.

Royal Highland Centre to host Kidz to Adultz Scotland

girl_dad

Edinburgh’s Highland Hall at the Royal Highland Centre is to host Kidz to Adultz Scotland – one of the largest, free Scottish events dedicated to children and young adults up to 25 years with disabilities and additional needs, their families and the professionals who work with them in Scotland.

Approximately 120,000 children and adults in Scotland are living with a learning disability[1], and over one million are living with a sensory impairment.[2]

Over 80 exhibitors will assemble at Highland Hall on Thursday 15th September to offer advice, support and information on mobility, communication, equipment and technology, education, toys and learning aids, transport, beds and seating, service, funding, sports and leisure and much more. 

Award-winning educational software provides a solution to the note-taking conundrum

Award-winning educational software provides a solution to the note-taking conundrum

Taking notes in lectures is difficult. Trying to understand complex, unfamiliar information while simultaneously capturing all the important points in writing is a challenge for any student.

But for students with disabilities that affect writing, organisation and working memory, taking effective written notes is beyond difficult – it’s a major barrier to learning.

In a recent study, when asked what problems they encounter at university, 95% of students with dyslexia said note taking - more than any other academic requirement (Webster D.M., 2016).

In an education system where most instruction is imparted orally, ineffective note taking is a major handicap. The research is unequivocal: students who take better notes get better grades (Titsworth, 2004).