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This page may help you find the right sort of services for you and your family. Click the words in orange to access the links and get through to their websites.

Equipment, clothes, services, grants and guides:

SENDirect www.sendirect.org.uk/ is a personalisation service launching in September 2014. The online service will allow parents and professionals to:

  • see what choices are available to them, how much things cost and what other people think of them
  • access information about rights
  • access guidance on how to tell what impact particular support or activities could have on outcomes for their child
  • influence the development of new and different services that better meet their child’s needs.

CAPR Style is an on-line supplier of handmade adaptive clothing for those with additional support needs. Designed for children and young people with disabilities and special needs, their individual designs give style whilst catering for the requirements of the wearer. CAPR-Style work to offer a complete line of adaptive clothing, with alterations available to meet specific needs. Go to www.capr-style.com

The Early Support Guides available to down-load from the Council for Disabled Children’s website are a goldmine of information that could help families dealing with all aspects of disability from behaviour to childcare to sleep to specific conditions and disabilities such as visual loss, hearing impairment and neurological disorders.  Click the link here to go to the page and look though the list of guides.

Independent Life Technologies is a company dedicated to developing and providing toys, communication and learning aids for special needs children and adults at an affordable price. There is a lot on this website for children with visual impairment, multi-sensory impairment and learning difficulties, and they make accessible switches for things like MP3 players, CD players etc.

Staying Put The Staying Put Handyman Service offers practical help to people with disabilities in Swale – mainly the over 60’s, but they will help families with disabled children also. If you need assistance with minor jobs in the home that will prevent a fall or put right a safety issues, give them a try. Call 01795 417131 for more information or click the coloured link above.

Sky Badger is a charity that finds help and adventure for disabled children and their families in the UK. They do this by building bridges between disabled children and the charities and services available to help. They find everything from disabled sports clubs to sibling groups to ‘make a wish’ charities and tell families about them though our website, social media platforms, videos, information packs and e-helpdesk.

 Changing Places In Kent A useful list of local changing facilities and care suites across Kent. There is also a fully equipped care suite at; Blossoms Care Services, 15-16 Eaves Court, Bonham Drive, Sittingbourne, Kent ME10 3RY

Children Today is the charity that raises funds to provide specialised equipment and services for children and young people with disabilities throughout the UK.

The webpage Disability Grants is a directory of grants for the disabled including grants for disabled children, disabled adults, Carers, disability groups and much more. It has been put together by a parent of a child with a disability and is a mine of information.

Show&go books are personalised books created by you on-line for children with ASD and related communication issues to help manage difficult situations.

Douglas Silas Solicitors specialize in SEN cases and have a very interesting website full of useful information on education issues and the law.

Do2learn provides thousands of free pages with social skills and behavioural regulation activities and guidance, learning songs and games, communication cards, academic material, and transition guides for employment and life skills. It is specifically designed for use with children with additional needs.

Contact a family have produced an ‘Aids, Equipment and Adaptions guide’ to help families obtain help from statutory and other sources and where to get advice.

Ace Education  have a free downloadable booklet to help you if you are thinking of asking for a statement of special educational need (SEN)

Caudwell children are now able to offer financial help towards treatments and surgery not available in the UK for selective dorsal rhizotomy, proton therapy and cancer treatments.

Kent Autistic Trust now has a small number of  “weighted blankets” which it is able to loan to families where a weighted blanket has been suggested by a Health Professional as an aid to sleep. The blanket would be on loan for a fixed period of time to help families decide whether it is helpful. Contact Jo Blamires: jo@kentautistic.com to find out more.

Young Epilepsy and ViroPharma have come together to develop an educational campaign to support parents, education providers and other carers for children with epilepsy, to aid good practice in implementing rescue management of prolonged, acute, convulsive seizures in the community. You can download and/or print their four page leaflet FREE here: http://youngepilepsy.org.uk/dmdocuments/Viropharma_STEPS_Patient_Leaflet_2013.pdf .

WaterSure scheme: If you have a water meter and your child’s condition means that you have to do a lot of laundry you can apply to your water supply company to cap the cost of your water  under the WaterSure scheme.

Helpful resources on SEN and disability policy: the Council for Disabled Children (CDC) has produced an information sheet listing the resources of the organisation and its partners on SEN and disability policy. On this sheet you can find links to CDC’s Education Health and Care plan checklist, a series of frequently asked questions about the current reforms and CDC’s newly launched resource to help schools prepare for the reforms. You can download the information sheet at www.councilfordisabledchildren.org.uk/sendreforminfosheet.

Hypermobility Help: For more information on hypermobility, what it is and how you can get help if you have hypermobility, please go to: http://hypermobility.org/

Computers and IT:

Ability Net has a helpline and a range of other services to enable disabled adults and children to learn to use a computer at home or at work.

It can help provide free computer help to disabled people. Volunteers come to your home and help you with hardware or software problems and give assistance in gaining confidence using a computer.

Pets and animals:

Canine Partners assist people with disabilities to enjoy greater independence and a better quality of life through the help of specially trained assistance dogs.

Paws Workshops are designed to provide parents with the information and long term support for sourcing, choosing, handling and training a pet dog, specifically to benefit a child with an autism spectrum condition and the family as a whole.

Pets as Therapy (PAT) is a national charity founded in 1983. It is unique in that it provides therapeutic visits to hospitals, hospices, nursing and care homes, special needs schools and a variety of other venues by volunteers with their own friendly, temperament tested and vaccinated dogs and cats.

Holidays:

Break provide holidays, short breaks and respite care for people with learning disabilities and children with special needs.

Disaway Trust provide respite, holidays and rehabilitation to people with a physical disability.

Peter Le Merchant Trust provides trips and holidays on special boats for physically disabled children and adults on the inland waterways.

Leisure:

Disability Sport in Kent is a part of Kent County Council that promotes disabled access to sport and lists local opportunities for disabled children and young people to take part. The directory can be down-loaded from the website and is a very useful tool for finding local opportunities.

Halliwick association of swimming therapy encourage, promote and teach swimming to disabled people of all ages and disabilities using a special technique called the Halliwick method.

The Kent Outdoor Pursuits Disability Project develop facilities and opportunities for disabled people to participate in outdoor pursuits. They are currently running Health Walks for people of all abilities at Bedgebury Pinetum in Goudhurst and Brickhill Country Park near Hythe.

There are regular countryside activities you can join in with across the county including cycling, climbing, canoeing, archery and sailing. For more information, contact Paul Panton on 01732 525433 or email paul.panton@kent.gov.uk.

Bewl Water Outdoor Centre, near Tunbridge Wells, offers outdoor pursuits for people of all abilities.

Carroty Wood Adventure Centre in Tonbridge offers outdoor pursuits for people of all abilities.

Branching Out is a mixed ability walking group, running regular walks and outings to a variety of countryside sites (primarily within a 25 mile radius of Maidstone, although they are hoping to form additional groups to cover more of the county in the future). You can also search for ‘Easy Access’ walks under ‘Overall walk grade’ on the Explore Kent guided walks search.

The Disabled Ramblers Association annually organises and runs a programme of supported disabled rambles across the country. Further information and a programme of events can be found on their website.

Thanet Disabled Riding Centre Maurice House, Callis Court Road, Broadstairs, Kent CT10 3AH telephone: 01843 863481

The Outsiders offers help to people with disabilities who are struggling to meet people with whom they can form close and/or intimate relationships. The organisation also runs a sex and disability helpline, which offers a friendly ear to discuss concerns relating to sex and relationships for disabled people aged over 16 and able to manage their own affairs. The number to call is 07770 884985

Mission Cycles specialise in trikes and specialist bicycles for both children and adults with disabilities. The staff are very friendly and the products are reliable.

Most kids love bikes and disabled children are no exception. To help find funds towards the additional cost of a specialised bike check out Grants for Bikes and Trikes

Cheap Disability Aids is a website that offers lots of toys, aids and resources for both children and adults with disabilities. We can’t vouch for the value or the quality, but you may find it useful to browse

Wills and trusts:

Cerebra: We all know how easy it is to put off making a will, especially given how expensive it can be, but when you have child with a disability it becomes that little bit more important to think about the future.  So Cerebra started its popular Wills and Trusts Voucher scheme to help parents of children with a neurological condition prepare for their child’s long-term future.  A voucher is worth £350 towards the cost of having a solicitor prepare a will and discretionary trust to make provision for your child’s future. See https://www.cerebra.org.uk/english/gethelp/willsandtrusts/pages/default.aspx

Mencap also offers specialist information and advice about making a will to ensure a loved one with a learning disability is provided for. See http://www.mencap.org.uk/what-we-do/wills-and-trusts