Down's Syndrome

Sally Phillips at FestABLE: ‘The SEN world is a treasure chest’

FestABLE speaker Sally Phillips

Having a child with special needs enables parents to understand and appreciate the important things in life, says actress and writer Sally Phillips. The well-known British comic was speaking at FestABLE, a festival celebrating specialist learning staged at National Star College in Cheltenham. 

It is the first time a festival dedicated to specialist learning has been staged in the UK.

“We are sitting on a treasure chest in the SEN (Special Educational Needs) world. Not only do we have freedom from some of the standards that the world operates with which are completely bogus but there’s a lot of living in the moment,” said Sally, who has a son with Down’s Syndrome. 

FestABLE event to be held at SEND college

Sally Phillips FestABLE

Guest speakers including TVs Sally Phillips will gather for FestABLE on June 2 as part of the UK’s first national festival dedicated to specialist learning.

Youtubers, assistive technology experts and professionals working with young people who have special educational needs and disabilities will attend the event. 

Young people have helped plan FestABLE’s diverse programme which includes all sorts from the chance to go in the country’s only wheelchair-accessible hot air balloon and play with eye-gaze controlled computer games, to sessions on speech and occupational therapy, Education, Health and Care plans, early autism intervention, SEND reform and removing the barriers to achievement.

World Down Syndrome Day - raising awareness through videos and socks!

World Down Syndrome Day Sally Phillips

World Down Syndrome Day is taking place today, with a wealth of events across the globe raising awareness – including "carpool karaoke" and an inclusive film competition.

You may have already seen a video of a "carpool karaoke" lip sync video in support of World Down Syndrome Day, which features 50 mums and their children singing along to Christina Perri track, A Thousand Years. The parents in the video (watch below) are all part of a Facebook group called Designer Genes, which was created for parents who have a child with Down’s Syndrome born in 2013 and 2014.