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Plight of disabled learners

In response to `Cash crisis forces disabled students' charity to close'

In response to `Cash crisis forces disabled students' charity to close'

It was with a deep sense of sadness that I read about the demise of Skill, previously known as the National Bureau for Students with Disabilities ("Cash crisis forces disabled students' charity to close", 15 April).

Skill defended and promoted the rights of learners with a range of needs to access FE, work and training. It was a voice for those disenfranchised by a post-16 and post-19 education system that has become target-driven and significantly less sensitive to the needs of a deserving group of students. The charity pioneered many of the radical changes made in the early 1980s for disabled learners, and promoted quality staff development, training, awareness and qualifications.

The closure of this dynamic organisation will leave a void in the service for those with disabilities. I hope another body takes up the challenge of publicising the plight of disabled learners at a time of threat and very real reductions in educational opportunities.

Dr Len Parkyn, senior teacher.

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