Courses, conferences, information and Media

4th March 2005 at 00:00


Epilepsy Action is offering free training sessions to primary schools in 10 local education authorities across England. A volunteer will visit schools to run short sessions covering the vital facts, seizure first aid, managing learning for children with epilepsy and addressing stigma.

Contact: Richard Edgar on 0113 210 8800;

From March 7


Courses include: Dyspraxia: working together towards effective practice, London, March 7; Practical ideas for the management of children with autistic spectrum disorders in a school setting, Bristol, March 7; Speech and language impairment in secondary schools, Edinburgh, March 11; Play and communication therapy: a non-directive approach, Edinburgh, March 11. Fee per course: Pounds 140. Also available is an advanced workshop - More than Words - for Hanen-certified speech and language therapists, to be held in London, March 15-17, pound;425.

Contact: 0845 225 4073;

From March 9


Inclusive Training, previously run by Barnardo's, provides affordable training (from pound;50 per person) for schools and teaching assistants.

Forthcoming courses include: Supporting students with autistic spectrum disorders, Hull, March 9; Supporting students with dyspraxia, Hull, April 8; Effective support in mathematics, Hull, March 11 or April 15. Courses can also be delivered in schools for pound;350 (one day) or pound;220 (half day).

Contact: Debbie Rolls on 0113 264 1932;

March 13


HemiHelp, which supports children with hemiplegia and their families, is holding a conference for parents in Birmingham. Speakers include a consultant paediatric neurologist, a consultant clinical psychologist (on behavioural and emotional problems), and representatives from the National Institute of Conductive Education and Outreach Services.

A conference for professionals who work with children with hemiplegia will be held in Southampton on April 21. Fee: pound;10 (includes lunch).

Contact: 0845 120 3713;

From March 15


Courses include: Deaf awareness for front-line staff, London, March 15; Supporting students with learning difficultiesdisabilities into employment, Manchester, March 18, London, May 12; Supporting students with Asperger Syndrome, London, April 25 or June 24. The fee is pound;225 plus VAT.

Tel: 0845 3304580;

From April 22


Jacqui Jackson, the mother of seven children, four of whom have autistic spectrum disorders, and Luke Jackson, aged 16, who has Asperger syndrome and won an award for his book Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome, are among the speakers at a series of seminars arranged by the Centre for the Development of Autism Practice: Glasgow, April 22; Cork, May 4-5; and Sheffield, October 5.

Contact: 01246 583826;

May 14-15


Workshop for parents and professionals organised by SOS!SEN at Langdon Down Centre, 2 Langdon Park, Teddington. Leaders: John Friel, education barrister; Melinda Nettleton, special needs specialist solicitor; and Janet O'Keefe, senior speech therapist. Topics include: legal framework; wording of statements; appeals; mock tribunal. Fee: pound;100 (pound;50 parentscarers if booked before March 31). SOS!SEN provides a free special needs legal and procedural telephone helpline for parents in Surrey, Richmond and Kingston.

Contact: 020 8979 8853;

August 1-4


International Special Education Conference (ISEC 2005) at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. Speakers include: Mel Ainscow, Manchester University; Chen Yun Ying, National Institute of Educational Research, China; Elliot Eisner, Stanford University. The forum will explore best practice and new ideas in curriculum, pedagogy, development, management and policy. Fee: pound;250 (before March 31), pound;290 otherwise; student and day rates available. Rooms at special rates available through Glasgow Tourist Board.

Contact: 0141 950 3052;



This foundation offers financial assistance to pupils in Wales who have a hearing impairment. The grants support them in their educational and social development if such funding is unobtainable elsewhere.

Contact: Pamela Brown, clerk to the trustees, 01792 207628


March 11


This year's theme is "Big hair and beyond". Schools are invited to apply for a fundraising pack full of ideas to join in the most massive makeover yet and help raise money for disadvantaged people in Africa and the UK.

March 12-May 15


Opening the weekend before Brain Injury Awareness Week, March 14-20, this exhibition at the Conservation Centre, Liverpool, explores issues surrounding what is often called a hidden disability. Artwork includes photography, print, large, vivid paintings and 3D sculpture created by patients at the local Brain Injuries Rehabilitation Unit, Rathbone Hospital. Artists Steve Rooney and Sue Williams worked with Mersey Care NHS Trust staff and service users in 30 workshops from April 2003 to produce work illustrating different aspects of the aftermath of a brain injury.

There are accompanying education sessions and art workshops. Admission is free.

Contact: National Museums of Liverpool on 0151 478 4999;; Brain Injury Awareness Week information:; or call 0115 924 0800



These BBC2 programmes for ages 7-11 feature thought-provoking dramas and documentaries about people with learning difficulties, which are debated and discussed by a group of young people:

"Bullying": March 11, 11.10-11.30am; Andrew, who has a learning disability, describes his experiences of being bullied and the group explores feelings of exclusion.

"Self-esteem": March 18, 11.10-11.30am; a positive look at inclusion, showing how making friends can be difficult for people with a disability.


"School": March 10, 10.45-11am; "Family": March 17, 10.45-11am

Two out of a series of 28 BBC2 programmes introducing 4 to 7-year-olds with learning difficulties to basic concepts, including everyday nouns, social language and expressing likes and dislikes. It helps them communicate using Makaton to support their language. Themes are covered using songs and rhymes.

Contributions to the diary should be sent to

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