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Special Needs;Conferences, free resources, Web sites


The Advisory Centre for Education is holding a training session on the Special Educational Needs Tribunal in London on May 13 and June 24. Complementing ACE publication, 'The Tribunal Toolkit', it is intended to help special needs co-ordinators, tribunal administrators and others. Fee: pound;85 plus VAT (some free places available). Details: Barbara Reissner, ACE, 1b Aberdeen Studios, 22 Highbury Grove, London N5 2DQ, tel: 0171 354 8318.

Enabling teachers to "hear" pupils and parents' unheard voices is the theme of a conference organised by the Forum for the Advancement of Educational Therapy and Therapeutic Teaching at St Alban's Centre, Baldwin's Gardens, Holborn, London EC1, on May 16, 10am-1pm. Speakers: Janet Collins, Open University lecturer, author and former primary teacher, and Barbara Lyndon, an educational therapist and Circletime co-ordinator. Admission: pound;10, pound;5 members. FAETT enquiries: 0181 998 4224 (evenings).

AFASIC overcoming speech impairments is running training courses for speech and language therapists and teachers on: an introduction to WILSTAAR (a package of screening, assessment and intervention), May 18; follow-up day for WILSTAAR therapists, June 12; severe receptive language difficulties in the classroom, June 19; functional language in the classroom, June 26; understanding the emotional and behavioural problems of language impaired children, July 3; collaborative working styles between teachers and therapists, October 2; and professional partnerships, October 9. Venue: London Voluntary Service Resource Centre, 356 Holloway Road, London N7. Fee: pound;70. Details: Carol Lingwood, 29 Hove Park Villas, Hove BN3 6HH, tel: 01273 381009.

Action for ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) is running a conference, ME in children, June 23, at Askham Bryan College, York. Speakers include: Jane Colby, former head and author of 'ME the New Plague', and Dr Nigel Speight, consultant paediatrician. Fee: pound;30. Details: Kerry Tolley, Action for ME, PO Box 1302, Wells BA5 2WE, tel: 01749 679193.


Special needs teachers could find The 1998 Directory of Self Help Groups and Support Organisations useful. It contains details of more than 620 groups covering about 700 conditions and needs. pound;7.50 including postage from: Steve Garrill, G-Text, 259 Squires Gate Lane, Blackpool FY4 3RE e-mail:

The ADD Update, a bi-monthly newsletter published by The West Yorkshire Attention DeficitHyperactivity Disorder Parent Support Group, is now available nationwide. It aims to raise awareness and support parents and sufferers of ADHD and related conditions (Tourette's syndrome, dyslexia, dyspraxia, learning difficulties). Send SAE marked "Update" to: 127 Embleton Road, Methley, Leeds LS26 9DA.


A free pack about water has been produced by The Royal National Institute for the Blind, North West Water and the Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester, for prim-ary children. It contains a set of activity sheets, with an accompanying braille version, covering such topics as: rainy weather, surface tension, floating and sinking, ice, sanitation, sea creatures, water safety and why we all need water. A second section comprises "water in science" exploration activities for key stages 1 and 2. These include: drinking, washing, floatingsinking, freezingmelting, making mud and growing plants. The pack is available from: The administrator, RNIB Educational Centre: North, PO Box HP91, Grosvenor Road, Leeds LS26 2QY.

The RNIB has published a free brochure detailing vacation schemes for blind and partially sighted children in mainstream education, which are mainly sponsored by Boots the chemists. Participants learn to develop independence through such activities as dry-slope skiing, aromatherapy, yoga, archery, pottery and computers. Information about other activities and workshops can be obtained from the RNIB's leisure information service. Details: Angela Dinning, RNIB Education Centre, North Grosvenor Road, Leeds LS6 2DZ tel: 0113 274 8855 e-mail:


The Special Educational Needs Service in Swansea offers advice, support, staff development and training for teachers and schools. Its Web site at has links to other sites such as SNAP (The Special Needs Association for Parents), a charity which helps parents become partners with professionals in decisions about children's SENS ( and The National Autistic Society (

The Association of Workers for Children with Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties at promotes excellence in services for young people with EBD and provides support for those who work with them.

Parents' Place, the Royal National Institute for the Blind's new Web site at allows parents of blind children to communicate with other parents, access services and keep track of new developments around the world. It includes details of new publications, toys, games, videos and links to other sites such as the RNIB site at:

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