14th December 2020 • Emma Cooper
The Transition Event Hub online brought together experts and the SEND community, and shared much valuable information for parents, carers, and young people.
With six different areas to explore, the Transition Event Online hub offered guidance, real-life stories, hope and perspective to people with life-changing disabilities and their parents. The power of community and strength from contributors, speakers, and event attendees captured the essence of the MFON spirit.
Main stage: The main event
Our live webinars on navigating transition, housing, education, and EHCPs took place on Friday 20th November. Delivered by experts in their fields, these presentations were packed full of information, and live Q&As answered pressing questions from attendees.
EHCPs and SEN support
We were delighted to welcome Senior Solicitor at Langley Wellington LLP, Rukhsana Koser, to the virtual main stage. Rukhsana presented a highly detailed and thought-provoking presentation on SEN support in school and EHC plans.
What we learnt
- An SEN support plan should focus on the outcomes your child wants to achieve.
- We were reminded that it’s the local authority’s duty to secure the relevant special educational provision for children with EHC plans.
- Rukhsana encouraged parents to ‘collect their own evidence’ if they think their child is facing difficulties in school.
- ‘Progress’ should not be just academic, but includes communication, co-ordination, and social skills as well as the behaviour and emotional and mental health of your child.
Nina Heighinton, children and young people’s nurse from the Midlands said on Twitter, ‘Brilliant webinar, very positive about looking at local, regional and national options for young people with additional needs. Great for any professionals supporting young people with transition and to signpost families.’
Assistant Director at The Council for Disabled Children, Caroline Coady, helped us to understand the challenges young people face when transitioning to adult life.
What we learnt
- Listen to young people to find out their goals, aspirations, and what they want their future to look like.
- Focus on young people’s strengths and look for creative opportunities.
- Help young people to build confidence.
‘Building independence is not just about a young person going off to live on their own, but about them being able to achieve their potential’ – Caroline Coady
Education options and the future
What will life look like for your child during and after education? It’s a complex question. Luckily for parents and carers, Bev Jessop, from Natspec came to tell us more.
What we learnt
- It’s so important for young people to have high aspirations.
- College should be a steppingstone to adult life.
- Young people should know their end point and be specific about their outcomes.
‘At Natspec we generally believe in meeting the individualised needs of young people. We want to encourage young people to have high aspirations.’ – Bev Jessop
We were very excited that Actress and Disability Campaigner, Samantha Renke, could join us to share her personal journey to independent living. Sam’s bubbly personality, engaging presentation style, and wit certainly made for a captivating and inspirational webinar. Sam was also joined by Nic Bungay, Director of Strategy and External Affairs at Habinteg.
What we learnt
- Samantha went into a downward spiral when she lived independently for the first time. She felt like she ‘wasn’t a priority’ when the lift broke and she lived on the fifth floor.
- Habinteg (who provide accessible homes) came to Samantha’s rescue and living independently has now had a positive impact on her mental health.
- Only 1% of all new homes built outside of London by 2050 are set to be wheelchair accessible.
‘When you have a disability, you have this internal feeling of feeling like a burden. We live in a world that tells disabled people that we are.’ – Samantha Renke
You can still catch up on all the webinars online. Visit ‘The Main Stage’ webpage to watch the recordings.
This event would not have been possible without our sponsors and supporters. Take a look around the Marketplace to find out more about them.
With thanks to our sponsors