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Peer Leadership Development Programme

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We are pleased to support as a charity on Wednesday 2nd June 2021, the Lived Experience Team launching their new promotional video for the Peer Leadership Development Programme!

The Peer Leadership Development Programme launched on an interactive platform called Future Learn in November 2020.  Over the past 6 months NHS England have had over 1500 learners enrol on the course.  Their new video focusses on graduates’ experiences of the programme, what matters to them and how they are using what they learnt on the course.

NHS England want to reach as many people as possible, so they are planning a social media take over and asking for help from our supporters to back the social media take over. If you could post details of the new video, on any available platform, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn using:

  1. This link to the film https://youtu.be/z6y0AuqXxPI
  2. This link to the Peer Leadership Development Programme – https://bit.ly/3foGDyw
  3. The hashtags – #peerleader and #strategiccoproduction
  4. Please email england.pldp@nhs.net to get in touch with NHS England for queries

Not only will the promotion of the programme help to recruit 500 peer leaders as outlined in the Universal Personalised Care Model nationally. It will also help people to gain more understanding and knowledge of personalised care and the difference it can make.

Please join us to support NHS England and get the word out there!

Kelly Bainbridge Personalised Care Manager (lived experience) for North Team NHS England and AnnaKennedyonline in the new term are arranging a workshop mid-September on the back of Anna Kennedy’s petition. 

More information of the collaboration will be following soon. 

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Our Lockdown Cookbook by The Students of the ASD Base
A book review by Beverly Guest our Charity Champion

 

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First of all, when I picked up this book it made me smile instantly!  The front cover is beautifully colourful with some fabulous quirky illustrations by Jack D. Evans, with a lovely clear bold heading at the top.  I don’t know about you, but I’m always drawn to a book initially by the front cover, .. and then I always turn to the back for the synopsis..

The back cover displays some truly admirable people, greatly respected for their efforts and contribution in their own fields in society.  Great advocates I thought, and it was inspiring to read their thoughts and acknowledgements for the cookbook content.

The foreword of this book is written by Mrs Esther Nicolaou; the ASD Base Manager of Cwmbran High School.  She explains the ethos behind the book, how it came about during lockdown, and what it represents.  I love the way she details how the students used the time and developed new skills – and forgive the pun; but the ‘proof is in the pudding’ of their new skills in this fabulous cookbook!

The book shares some amazing recipes from a group of ASD children. ASD – Autism Spectrum Disorder, i.e. Autism as most commonly known.

These fabulous children have turned a negative – been stuck at home in lockdown – to a resounding positive! How cool is that?!

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Lockdowns have been a strange time for all.  A time where most have been able to reflect on their lives, and try something different.

Those with autism and their families have experienced highs and lows in lockdown, just as anybody else has.

Here are a group of amazing talented pupils using this time to create something which is really rather special.

We sat down as a family and went through the cookbook together, discussing and sharing our comments.  Our son has autism and ADHD so we were interested in his feedback – he smiled the whole way through it. 

He said the front cover illustrations made him happy as it reminded him of the animated film ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’!  He actually smiled the whole way through reading the book, and he liked seeing the photos of each person along with their name.

We each struggled to choose a favourite recipe as they all sound so great!

We loved the way the book shared safety kitchen rules at the start, something lots of cookbooks forget, so a big thumbs up for this!

Also we thought it was brilliantly thought out including a list of equipment that might be needed, what a great idea!

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The cookbook is clear, and laid out in an easy user friendly way.  Each page has the students name, photo, recipe title, with a list of ingredients, step by step method, and a photo of the finished dish.

All too often cookbooks are too full of written information lacking interest, and lacking a photo of the finished article.  This cookbook shone in all of these areas, and having the recipe authors name with their photo makes the book more personable and relatable.  It’s difficult to choose just one favourite recipe as there is something for everyone.

A definite success, and a cookbook that’s a winner in our eyes.  Well done to all the students who worked so hard, and delivered on a challenge to learn new skills during a difficult time in lockdown for the whole Country. 

You really have produced a fabulous cookbook that would inspire and motivate anyone to get cooking. 

Keep up the great work, you and your cookbook are brilliant!

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Anna’s guest this week on ‘All things Autism’ was our charity Ambassador Paul Isaacs

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Anna Kennedy’s guest this week on Women’s Radio Station was Paul Isaacs.
‘All things Autism” will be aired at 1pm and 1am every day this week.  Please see www.womensradiostation.com

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Paul shared: My name is Paul Isaacs and I have been an autism advocate for over 10 years, in that time I have seen many changes – some positive and accommodating others separatist and polarising.

Birth & Early Development
I was born in May 1986 and I was a month premature.

By my Mother’s observations I was quite and happy baby, however after the first six months onwards she began to notice differences in my development.

The initial worry was that I was deaf and/or blind this was round 1987, my motor coordination was delayed, I had oral apraxia for a time and didn’t gain functional speech between the ages 7/8 years old in 1994. Due to being meaning deaf and meaning blind.

Mainstream Education & Employment
I went through mainstream education from the 1989 to 2002 despite having obvious challenges.

The social and environmental factors were acute if not initially passive by people in their presentation, comments, body language and judgement.

It was subversive from the adults within my village and more pronounced and opaque towards me from 1991 onwards at age of five, this then transferred into my educational experiences and larger part of my employment history.

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What I Reflected Upon
What I have learned from these experiences is lack of knowledge creates judgement, bigotry and separation, but what causes this?

The Mechanics of Bigotry?
I think it is due to one’s environment, personality factors (although not entirely indicative), core beliefs (what is considered “normal”, “right”, “wrong”) and what could be extension of someone’s ideal of morality.

Now what else I would say about this is false belief systems have to be procured and recycled.

It needs to be fed from generation to generation. This means that if these ideals aren’t challenged they cannot build fertile grounds of change.

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Be Kind & Understand Why
This on a personal level this has brought me peace, balance and objectivity now I am not procuring bigotry or saying it is right, quite the opposite.

Sadly psycho-social and environmental underpinnings of ignorance have to be understood in order to give an opening for growth and internal change.

So in many ways the people whom projected their venom on to me. Did they have –

I thank these people for at the very least giving me a very clear framework of how not to treat other people.

Polly Samuel’s Fruit Salad Analogy
In the interview I talk about Donna William’s’ fruit salad analogy and how it has helped me grow not only in a professional capacity but personal one as well.

Over the years of being speaker, trainer and consultant I have used the foundation of her analogy and shared to masses so that people can be empowered (parents, carers, guardians teachers, mental health professionals and people on the spectrum) to get to the underpinnings of what is going on.

Could it be exposure anxiety? Could it be visual perceptual disorders? Could it be dyspraxia?

I am balanced that I don’t hold (and never will) all the answers and that in comes objectivity I do not speak for “all” on the spectrum that is impossible task.

I am but one person however what I can do is point out the multifaceted nature of “autistic fruit salads” and open up people’s perceptions.

In the end it isn’t about me, my ego, my status or my person it becomes about something greater other human beings.

Autism & Militancy
I am have noted the militancy within the autism community for many years, I am not affiliated with any groups nor doe I procure to mantra of “us and we” which suggests that all people on the spectrum think and act the same.

I do not procure to using the word “neurotypical” as a slur with bigoted and separatist undertones.

How can one fight bigotry if you are willing to “other” people? Also I choose not to use that word because in my opinion there is no such thing because there are “non-autistic” fruit salads too.

Thinking About Human Beings
All people go through an AUT-istic stage of development.

People with autism can have non-autistic moments and experiences and people without autism can have autistic moments and experiences.

Lets be kind enough to presume competence, intelligence and in understanding the persons autism you have do not have to define their entire being by it because what else would be left? We have enough man-made divisions as it is.

I ask you do we need any more?

Paul Isaacs 2021

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Judicial Alternative Dispute Resolution Hearings Pilot 2021

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Very recent tribunal announcement on Judicial Alternative Dispute Resolution Hearings Pilot 2021:

  1. From May 2021 until the end of July 2021, the First-tier Tribunal Special Educational Needs and Disability will list certain types of appeals for judicial alternative dispute resolution (JADR) hearings.  These will be cases which involve Section I of an EHC plan.
  2. The JADR hearing will be listed approximately one week after the final evidence date and two weeks before the date of the final hearing. It will have an estimated length of up to 1.5 hours.
  3. The purpose of the JADR hearing is to support parties to resolve their disputes by agreement. At the hearing the judge, who has been trained in judicial mediation, will consider how to assist the parties to reach an agreement.
  4. It may be possible for the judge at the JADR hearing to provide a view as to whether either party is being unrealistic, either in respect of the evidence provided to support the placement they propose or the grounds of appeal or response. In some cases, it may be possible for the judge to express an opinion as to the strength or weakness of the appeal or response (or parts of them).
  5. It is important to stress that JADR hearings are private, confidential hearings and that the judge who conducts the JADR hearing will not conduct the final hearing in the case, if the parties cannot reach an agreement. If the judge expresses a view about the strength or weakness of the appeal or response, or about the strength of the evidence, that is not binding on the parties, but it is hoped that it will help them to reach their own agreement. Anything said at the JADR meeting should be kept confidential and not referred to after that hearing.
  6. The judge may ask the parties to sign a draft consent order if an agreement is reached in principle. If the parties are not able to reach agreement at the JADR hearing a short report will be prepared identifying the issues to be decided by the Tribunal and relevant legislative provisions to be taken into consideration.
  7. It is important to stress that the purpose of the JADR hearing is to carry out the Tribunal’s duty under rule 3 of the Tribunal Procedure Rules 2008 (as amended) to encourage the use by the parties of an alternative procedure for the resolution of the dispute and facilitate the use of the procedure if the parties so wish and to further the overriding objective set out in rule 2.
  8. The overriding objective enables the Tribunal to deal with cases fairly and justly, which includes:

These principles will be applied in JADR hearings.

Although in exceptional circumstances, some necessary case management directions may be given by the judge at the JADR hearing, the purpose of the hearing will be to focus on ways of encouraging the parties to resolve their dispute by agreement. It would not be appropriate to consider issues such as postponing the final hearing, directing further evidence or considering detailed disputes over a hearing bundle, at a JADR hearing.

Credit: SOS SEN: https://sossen.org.uk/

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Touch for Bullying and Anxiety

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An article by our Well-being Ambassador Giuliana Wheater and her video!

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Therapeutic touch and massage to MASSIVELY alleviate anxiety and stress.

The tips shared in this week’s video can be shared between friends and family, as part of your therapies if you are a registered therapist or as tools to self-administer and get your inner red carpets strong and flowing again!

It is all about Empowerment!!

Take your worries in hand – LITERALLY – and fill your bodies and brains with the four main happy hormones and coping chemicals to stay on top of what is going on in your life.

The simple power of touch not only boosts physical immunity – but emotional and mental intelligence and RESILIENCE!!

Touch also fills you again with the self-esteem and confidence you may be depleted in, as well as bringing clarity of thought, good judgment, and the deep nurture and repair your physical bodies and inner selves so badly need.

You have got this!!

There are so many ways to process and grow through whatever it is you are experiencing.

It will not last forever and remember that even when you do not feel like talking about it, you can always literally take the upper hand.

See you next week! Big hugs (now we are allowed them – hooray !!) Giuliana 
https://www.therapiesforspecialneeds.co.uk/

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“Not Stupid” written by Anna Kennedy
A book review by Beverly Guest our Charity Champion

 

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This is an inspirational true account of a lady called Dr Anna Kennedy OBE, and her fight alongside her husband Sean Kennedy for their children Patrick and Angelo.  To say this book inspires is an understatement, it’s a shining example of how Anna says; ‘You either give in, give up, or give it all you’ve got!’.

The foreword of Annas fabulous book is written by Dame Esther Louise Rantzen DBE, tv presenter and journalist – check this out on Annas website with further information it’s really informative https://www.annakennedyonline.com/not-stupid/.

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At the outset, Anna was faced with the rejection of so many schools all saying they could not meet her children’s needs. In fact in all, 26 schools turned them away.  TWENTY SIX !! It’s hard to imagine 26 schools turning children away, not because of the usual catchment area or for being full, but because Annas children had both been diagnosed with autism and needed specialist educational provision – something these 26 schools felt they couldn’t provide.. imagine as a parent being faced with that amount of rejection.

The fight to help her children was to become the start of many ‘you can’t do that’ challenges that Anna would face …. and ultimately overcome.  If you’re ever lucky enough to meet Anna, you will be bowled over by her energy, aura, enthusiasm and commitment to create equal opportunities for those with autism, to raise awareness, understanding and acceptance.

All this on the number of hours sleep you can count on one hand on a regular basis.  Outstanding dedication and resilience!

Truth be told, too many people still have the ‘Rain Man’ film in their minds of what everyone with autism is like.  Yet in reality, just like all neurotypicals differ, so do those with autism – there are no two alike, all are different in some way.

Anna from the outset of her sons diagnosis’, and from being turned away by so many schools, was determined to prove her sons were ‘Not Stupid’, that they had something to offer and COULD achieve.  The book explains, and Anna clearly demonstrates that she did just that!

Proving that anything is possible, if you believe.. then you CAN achieve.  Hence the title of Annas book..

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There are hundreds of thousands of people in the UK diagnosed with autism, and Anna wanted to show the World that having autism didn’t mean they were ‘stupid’.  She pulled every ounce of determination from her soul and succeeded in creating a vital centre of excellence for those with autism. 

A dedicated place to help those with autism to thrive and succeed in the best way they possibly could with support and encouragement, making them feel valued and part of society. And why shouldn’t they?!

A truly inspiring story of true grit, determination and love for two boys Anna believed in – but not just for her boys, the whole autism community, and all those with special needs. 

You will enter this book and go on a journey, following a winding road of emotions, tears of sadness and joy, and come out the other side feeling inspired, with a deep love and admiration that those with autism deserve the right to be heard, understood and accepted just the way they are.

She was ‘just a Mum’ of two boys with autism.  But in reality, she was much more than that.  She was a light, a beacon of hope, of inspiration.. someone who would continue her journey forever on this path of inclusion for all, indeed a role model for all. 

Have your tissues ready, as you delve into the TRUE story of a family who were determined to prove their boys deserved more.  And they did just that, and MORE.  Enjoy.

Follow Anna and her Charity’s’ journey here, and don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter! https://www.annakennedyonline.com/email-updates/

 

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Anna Kennedy Online Support Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2021

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Anna Kennedy Online is proud to celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day by joining together with Recite Me to raise awareness of the importance of creating a digital world where more than One Billion people with disabilities/impairments can access online content barrier-free.

May 20th, marks Global Accessibility Awareness Day’s 10th anniversary. A key date in our calendar to get everyone talking, thinking, and learning about digital access and inclusion. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) World Report on Disability, 15% of the world’s population are living with a disability. Of this number, it’s estimated that 1 in 5 people do not have access to the assistive technology they need.

Every online user deserves a first-rate digital experience. Someone with access needs due to disabilities/impairments must be able to experience web-based services, content, and other digital products with the same successful outcome as those without disabilities. To support everyone online with visual and nonvisual disabilities, we have created an inclusive website to enable all staff, customers, and other website users to customise their online experience in a way that works best for them.

Joining Recite Me we are on a mission to create an inclusive digital world enabling everyone ease of access to our online information and resources.

Over the past 12 months together we have seen over 2 million people using the toolbar, viewing over 10 million pages in a way that best suits their individual needs. Anna Kennedy shared: When visiting our website people can use our accessibility and language support tools to create a unique and customisable user experience. Support options include text to speech functionality, fully customisable styling features, reading aids, and a translation tool with over 100 languages, including 35 texts to speech voices and many other features.

Together we can build an inclusive online world. This starts by creating awareness on an individual or organisational level and helping others to understand the opportunities presented by inclusion, we can all make a positive difference together. Join the journey to an inclusive world.

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Introducing “The Big e”

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Specialist advisory service using an #Intersectional approach to identify needs, provision, outcomes and one to one teaching. The Big e will consistently aim to educate, empower, empathise, and engage families on their SEND journey…

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Marguerite is the Founder of Haye Independent Services which was successfully launched in June 2014 as a result of the Children and Families Act 2014. Marguerite’s primary goal was to support families through the new Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) journey with the new legislation. Marguerite successfully advocated for 1000s of families working in different roles nationally.  Marguerite is knowledgeable in the SEND legislation she embraces its ethos at the heart of everything she does, by adopting a child-centred approach to ensure every child receives the right provision.

Marguerite has worked in various roles in the education sector with her most recent being a Headteacher.  Marguerite recognises the missing voices in the area of SEND from children to adults, especially within the Black community.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Marguerite became seriously ill which resulted in her having to make life changes to her role. It was decided that she would no longer be working in the role as a advocate but would use her extensive experience to offer assessments of needs and 1:1 tutoring for children with special educational needs or disabilities. This is where the – The Big e was born.

Marguerite can offer assessments, 1:1 tutoring (online) and more.

Click here for further details.

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New on AmazonSmile: Sign up in the app
The difference is that when you shop on Amazon Smile.

 

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AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support a charity of your choice every time you shop, at no cost to you. AmazonSmile is available at smile.amazon.co.uk on your web browser and can be activated in the Amazon Shopping App for iOS and Android phones. When you shop with AmazonSmile, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as amazon.co.uk, with the added bonus that AmazonSmile will donate a portion of the purchase price to your selected charity.

So if you want to help make a difference while you shop in the Amazon app, at no extra cost to you? Simply follow the instructions below to select Anna Kennedy Online as your charity and activate AmazonSmile in the app. Amazon will donate a portion of your eligible mobile app purchases to us.

How it works:
1. Open the Amazon app on your phone
2. Select the main menu (=) & tap on “AmazonSmile” within Programmes & Features
3. Select Anna Kennedy Limited as your charity
4. Follow the on-screen instructions to activate AmazonSmile in the mobile app

Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net purchase price (excluding VAT, returns and shipping fees) from your eligible Amazon Smile purchases to us, which we would help us to continue in helping society and raising Autism Awareness and promoting acceptance across the globe by making a difference through our dedication to reaching out and supporting communities. 

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Autism and Mental Health – by Austin Riley our Overseas Ambassador

 

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The last several months have been very tough mentally, especially in Ontario Canada where I live.  We are currently in our third lockdown which seems to be never ending.   My race season start date has just been pushed back for a second time.  It has really been hard to stay positive with the situation.  

I have been able to find a few things that have really helped me cope.   I have started to do some regular exercise 4 or 5 nights a week in preparing for the race season to start.   It seems to help give me stay more positive in general and has improved the way I feel about myself. I have also been doing much more simulator racing with friends I have made all over the world.  

Even though simulator racing does not feel the same as real racing, it’s still good to do some racing even if it’s virtually.  The last thing that has really helped me get by the last several months is work.  I have been able to get out of the house and go to a job I love 3 days a week.  It gets me out of the house and allows me to see some new faces other than my parents and sister.  

All in all, I am doing ok…but I also understand that if I start to struggle, I have lots of friends and family I can reach out to that will help me.  

Austin Riley

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