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Advice regarding charities

WestHam06WestHam06 Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,354 Pioneering
edited August 2020 in Employment and careers
Hi all, 
         Firstly, please can I take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to read this post. I am keen to go into schools and other educational setting's to talk to both pupils and staff about disability and the barriers that disabled people may face including how disability can affect mental health but also how barriers and adversity can be overcome as I believe there is no where near enough awareness being raised in these setting's. I was just wondering if anyone knew of any charities which may already do this or any initiatives which may be able to support me with this. I am currently developing a presentation and researching charities which could help with this but would appreciate any advice anyone may be able to offer, no worries if not. Many thanks.  

Replies

  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,043 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @WestHam06

    Maybe you could contact your local education department, or childrens social services they may be able to give you some charities they link in with. Or if more global the Government Education department

    Another idea would be just to google children's educational charaties and see what comes up and what they all do

    Hope your work is taking form
  • Han_Han_ Member Posts: 154 Pioneering
    Hi @WestHam06.

    I just wanted to say that I think that it is great that you have noticed that there is a need for education in schools regarding the issues experienced by disabled people and that you're taking initiative to address this.

    I would like to wish you the very best and please do keep us updated.

    Han
  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,393 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @WestHam06 I would echo whats already been said ^^ school governing bodies in some cases have a governor who looks after the interest of a schools disabled students, they might be of help?
    "Putting a child into care, isn't caring for a child" (T.Rhattigan)
  • WestHam06WestHam06 Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,354 Pioneering
    Hi @janer1967
                             How are you? Thank you so much for your advice I really do appreciate it. I hadn't thought of contacting my local education department, this is definitely worth exploring, thank you.
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,043 Disability Gamechanger
    @WestHam06 I'm good thanks hope you are too 

    Happy to help anytime 
  • WestHam06WestHam06 Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,354 Pioneering
    Hi @Han_
                      Thank you so much for your kind words, I really do appreciate them. I really hope that I am able to make my initiative work as I believe there is a great need for it and though I believe there has been great strides made in reaching equality for disabled people in the education system, I believe there is still so much more to be done and I thank you for your acknowledgement. I will be sure to keep you updated but I do feel it may take time. Thank you. 
  • WestHam06WestHam06 Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,354 Pioneering
    Hi @woodbine,
                             How are you? Thank you for your advice, I greatly appreciate it and I feel that once my presentation is ready this is definitely an option worth exploring. I think what I am worried about is going into schools on my own without any support and them thinking that it is not good enough or the cause is not worthy of their time. I'm in the early stages of working with my old secondary on developing a mentoring role as this could be the place to learn and develop the presentation as I very much believe in fairness and I want to ensure I give something back. I think I am also worried that the presentation will be too personal to me and though this is a great place to start I would like to be able to expand to reach as many students with disabilities as possible, though I suppose it has to start somewhere. I think this is my thinking with regard to getting support from a charity but hopefully I can make work as I passionately believe in this and from the feedback I have recieved on the community there is a place for it. As I said to @Hans_ I think it will take time and I want to ensure I do it justice. Thank you.
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,043 Disability Gamechanger
    Happy to give you feedback on your presentation when it us ready 


    I have plenty experience of presenting to large or small groups . Not kids though 

    We could sort it out on zoom or something 
  • WestHam06WestHam06 Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,354 Pioneering
    Hi @janer1967
                              Thank you so much I greatly appreciate the offer and will keep you updated with how things progress and would appreciate any feedback.  Thank you so much. 
  • Han_Han_ Member Posts: 154 Pioneering
    WestHam06 said:
    Hi @Han_
                      Thank you so much for your kind words, I really do appreciate them. I really hope that I am able to make my initiative work as I believe there is a great need for it and though I believe there has been great strides made in reaching equality for disabled people in the education system, I believe there is still so much more to be done and I thank you for your acknowledgement. I will be sure to keep you updated but I do feel it may take time. Thank you. 
    I look forward to hearing how you have been getting on :)
  • WestHam06WestHam06 Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,354 Pioneering
    Hi @Hans
                     Thank you. I have been having conversations on the online community and it appears there is actually also a need for it in universities which surprises me a little. I have not been to university so I cannot say from experience so that is why I am grateful to people on the community for sharing their experiences and points of view. I am very passionate about this and want to ensure I have a clear plan of a way forward so I'm still in that, what I call 'learning' or what others may call 'researching', phase. I will be sure to keep you updated :) Thank you. 
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 4,959

    Scope community team

    I just graduated from university @WestHam06 and there wasn't much awareness-raising of barriers disabled students face at all that I was aware of :( I look forward to seeing what you come up with @WestHam06!
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  • Han_Han_ Member Posts: 154 Pioneering
    WestHam06 said:
    Hi @Hans
                     Thank you. I have been having conversations on the online community and it appears there is actually also a need for it in universities which surprises me a little. I have not been to university so I cannot say from experience so that is why I am grateful to people on the community for sharing their experiences and points of view. I am very passionate about this and want to ensure I have a clear plan of a way forward so I'm still in that, what I call 'learning' or what others may call 'researching', phase. I will be sure to keep you updated :) Thank you. 
    I agree with @Tori_Scope, there is not much disability awareness at all at universities and this is something that definitely needs to change. Sounds like your research is going well. Do let us know if we can help with anything  :)

    Han
  • WestHam06WestHam06 Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,354 Pioneering
    Hi @Tori_Scope
                               How are you? Thank you for getting involved in the conversation, please may I ask what you studied at university? I have been really surprised at how many people have said that there is a lack of awareness around the barriers disabled students face at university so thank you for sharing your experience with us. I have a presentation that I am working on but I would say I have developed this with a primary/secondary school audience in mind. However, I am interested to try to explore how we can engage a university audience with this type of thing. I think one thing that worries me is that I have not been to university so it would be unfair of me to comment but I think also if I were to approach universities and say 'Hey, I'd like to talk to students and lecturers about disability,  barriers faced and how people's understanding can help to change this', they might look at me as though I don't have the knowledge to do that. That said, I think you can learn so much from real life experience. Please may I ask how do you think it would be embraced if it were to happen at your university? Please don't feel you have to answer. Thank you.
  • WestHam06WestHam06 Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,354 Pioneering
    Thank you @Hans I greatly appreciate it and I'm sure I may be asking for help in the coming months so thank you for the offer :) 
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 4,959

    Scope community team

    Hi @WestHam06,

    I'm very well thanks, you? I studied Politics and Social Policy (basically Sociology), so I did get to learn more about disability issues on my course than many students I imagine, but not so much in an extra-curricular sense. 

    That's an interesting point. I so think there is an air of superiority in regards to level of education amongst some university staff, but definitely not all. I agree that lived experience is definitely really important. I'm hesitant to give absolute advice because I don't really know, but off the top of my head I think you'd have three main options:
    1. Find out whether the university you're interested in visiting has a professor who's a specialist in disability studies, or something similar, and ask whether they'd like to collaborate. It might be that they're too busy to help you organise something themselves, but they could refer you onto someone within their department who could help, which might give you a bit more clout
    2. Contact the relevant students' union, or even an individual student society. I think this would be your best bet, as unions and societies run events all the time, they have great access to lots of students, and they often have specific interests in certain subjects. For example, I know that Leeds University has a Guide Dogs Society, so you could run an event with them and get them to help you advertise it
    3. Contact an individual student. Individual students are usually allowed to run events, so if there was perhaps a disability blogger or activist at a university, you could get in touch with them directly to organise an event
    Honestly I'd like to think that both students and staff would be up for it. I'm sure that a staff training day style event would be harder to organise unless you could join up with someone else, but I think that running an event open to students and staff would be very plausible. The two schools I was a member of (Politics and Sociology/Social Policy) ran talks quite frequently with external speakers and, as I say, the unions and societies host events all the time. 

    Hopefully that helps? I was a mere undergrad student, so don't have much insider knowledge I'm afraid.
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  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 713 Pioneering
    The effort to stand in person and lecture every child in the land is disproportionate and misdirected . When Queen Victoria was around, it was the only way. Technology has moved on. A series of entertaining  you tubes would  be a permanent  and world wide resource, but a single well meaning  person couldn't  and shouldn't attempt it.   

    The factual and lived experience aspects are extremely complex, but could and should be  available to anyone who Googles, and to any teacher to propose as homework.  It needs expertise and high quality professional  production,   with whatever works best in the way of subtitles, signing, voice over, cartoons, inserts of explanation from  those directly affected.  

    Possibly  Open University or a university  with disability education will already have the basis of the  necessary work.( If not why not?)  However it needs to be digestible for every level of comprehension,  and, importantly,   for the teaching staff. (No teacher in 2020 should tell a rather bright autistic 8 year old that he is "on the dunces' table")

    Obviously, each type of disability needs different awareness,  for example the general public have difficulty understanding anything but wheelchair = disabled ;  disabled = wheelchair.  Even the fluctuating conditions are problematic,  so a person who can barely stand unaided one day, but can walk a little at other times, may be seen as somehow incorrectly disabled. 
  • WestHam06WestHam06 Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,354 Pioneering
    Hi @Tori_Scope
                               Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me, I greatly appreciate it. As I said due to not being at university myself I am quite cautious to go down this route as I feel there may well be that view that I'm not 'qualified' enough, that said as you quite rightly say not all university staff are like this. I think I certainly wouldn't go it alone and that is the case for any educational setting. There is so much to think about and that is why I have put a few conversations regarding this here on the community to try to gauge what the feeling there is for a need for it. This needs to be handle in the right way. The community is great and so helpful. Thank you, I'll be sure to think about the suggestions you have made. As I have said earlier in this post, I think it will take time, thank you for your support. Thank you.
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 4,959

    Scope community team

    No problem at all @WestHam06 :) I'm sure other members will continue to give you more tips and ideas. I'm excited to see how it all works out!
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  • WestHam06WestHam06 Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,354 Pioneering
    Hi @newborn
                          Thank you for your comments. I completely agree no one person can stand on the stage and educate every child across the country about every disability, that said it does not mean there is not a place for it to be explored either on a small scale or by a group. It is about not only creating the opportunity for children to be educated about disability but it is also about giving people with a disability the chance to have the story heard, in their own words. I would not dream of doing this sort of thing on my own, to start with I'm not confident enough let alone qualified enough, but I believe there is a need for it out there and to an extent in person. I agree technology has advanced so much and has enabled people to connect the world over but sometimes 'seeing is believing' and I feel that for the full affect to be gained there needs to be the human contact to a degree. Obviously, that will not work for everyone and this is where the beauty of technology comes in, however on the other hand, not everyone has access to the technology needed to watch Youtube videos or upload them, that doesn't mean they don't have a story worth hearing. It's about sharing experiences in a variety of ways. A person going into schools will not reach every child in every school but unfortunately that is the case for anything, we will never meet everyone in the world and nor do we meet everyone via the internet. 
    I also agree with what you say about the presentation needing to be suitable to meet the needs of the audience and that is why I am really hoping that I can find a charity of some kind to help me with this. Also, you are right, I only know about Cerebral Palsy and how it affects me and that is why it is so important I get this right and that includes making it clear that it is disability specific and even then specific to me. The thing with Cerebral Palsy is it affects no two people the same. There is also the opportunity for me to learn about other disabilities. I understand your point about society perhaps having 'narrow' views about what disability means, though I do think this is slowing changing and it will only continue to change if there is education available about different disabilities. I believe there are so many opportunities by educating about disability including better understanding how disability can affect mental health. 
    I won't pretend, there is a chance this may not work but I am very passionate about this and it may turn out I find it in a completely different way or not at all but I believe it's worth exploring. That is what is so great about the community, there are so many supportive people who are able to share a different view point on things. In your post, sharing about videos, absolutely something to think about, especially in the current situation the world finds itself in. 
    I hope my reply makes sense and is clear in what I am trying to say. I apologies if any misunderstanding or upset is caused. Thank you. 

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