GPS: Giving Parents Strategies

20140105-132341Being a secret hippy, I love self-help books and blogs.

The more I read, the more ideas I get on how some of the strategies could help other parents of children with disabilities or special educational needs.  The strategies to “bounce back” after a bad day, the strategies to be resilient after a bad experience in the supermarket and the strategies to know where to go for support.

I know however, that I am fortunate to have the time to read through these books, I also know they are not the chosen reading for everyone.

So I have spent the last month or so working on a new workshop.  A workshop aimed specifically at parents, taking ideas from a number of books and providing some really practical ideas on how to survive the Jungle we live in.  I have used these strategies personally for the last few months and the difference they have made is immense. My hubby and kids are benefitting from a less-stressed out me and in turn, they too are calmer and happier (except this morning, when “back to school” arrived)!

GPS: Giving Parents Strategies.  There are several amazing courses out there on helping families to cope but many of them require 5-10 weeks commitment from families and to be honest, that is something that deterred me personally.  I know of many parents who have attended them and had great feedback but for me, with a short attention span and a chaotic life, I prefer “short and sweet”.

I am mum to three children, under 10, all with a variety of SEN/Disability, all statemented, all in different schools and I have my fingers in many pies (too many pies) so time is not something I want to give up, especially when it is a course for “me”.  If it was a course on managing behaviour in my child or sleep issues for children, I would gladly give up months of my time but giving up time to do a workshop that is just about me – well that is a concept that I struggle with and I know I am not alone.

GPS is not a condensed version of any of the courses, it is original.  Why duplicate what is already out there?

GPS runs from 10-2 (working lunch) for one day and is informal and friendly.  6 weeks later, the parents are invited back for a fun coffee morning to see how the strategies are working.

Interested?  We will be running this in Ashford in January so get in touch if you want to find out more.



Equality Act – Reasonable Adjustment

This is something we are always asked about.  What is a reasonable adjustment, when should someone make a reasonable adjustment, etc.

This is an extract from a Government paper called “Equality Act 2010: What do I need to know?  Disability Quick Start Guide“.  


What?  How?  When?  Where?  Why?

What? How? When? Where? Why?

What reasonable adjustments do you have to make for disabled people?
Service providers are required to make changes, where needed, to improve service for disabled customers or potential customers. There is a legal requirement to make reasonable changes to the way things are done (such as changing a policy), to
the built environment (such as making changes to the structure of a building to improve access) and to provide auxiliary aids and services (such as providing information in an accessible format, an induction loop for customers with hearing aids, special computer software or additional staff support when using a service).

Where a service is delivered from a building that cannot be made accessible through reasonable adjustments, it may be a reasonable adjustment to provide the service at a different venue, including a home visit.

Reasonable changes are required wherever disabled customers or potential customers would otherwise be at a substantial disadvantage compared with non-disabled people. A substantial disadvantage is more than a minor or trivial disadvantage. Service providers cannot charge disabled customers for reasonable adjustments.

What is reasonable will depend on all the circumstances, including the cost of an adjustment, the potential benefit it might bring to other customers (ramps and automatic doors benefit customers with small children or heavy luggage, for example), the resources an organisation has and how practical the changes are.

The Equality Act 2010 requires that service providers must think ahead and take steps to
address barriers that impede disabled people. In doing this, it is a good idea to consider the range of disabilities that your actual or potential service users might have. You should not wait until a disabled person experiences difficulties using a service, as this may make it too late to make the necessary adjustment.

Sandra is arranging a conference for her charity to discuss new ways of fundraising. She looks at a number of venues to find one that has good physical adaptations with accessible toilets, an induction loop and places for people to eat their lunch at tables if they want to.   She contacts speakers and participants beforehand to ask if they have any disability-related requirements, such as a sign language interpreter or information in alternative formats.

Does this make sense?  What other questions do you have?