The information on this page is in three sections:
It is often a good idea to begin by finding your local advocacy organisation. You'll find people there who may have gone through the same experience as you or who know what to do or where to go locally. To find your local advocacy group, go to the advocacy section of this page.
The following organisations offer advice and information:
Contact a Family
Contact a Family provides support, advice and information for families with disabled children, no matter what their condition or disability. They have over 30 years of experience of working with families with disabled children.
Their Freephone helpline for parents and professionals across the UK is staffed by trained parent advisors. It gives information and advice on a wide range of issues including welfare rights, education, short breaks, local services and local support. The helpline is open Monday-Friday, 9.30am-5pm.
Their advisers can help with:
- benefits or tax credits issues
- assessments and statements of special educational needs
- details of local parents support groups
- information about your child's condition
- how to access help with getting a break from caring
- details of charities which give grants to families with disabled children
- advice and information on any other aspect of caring for a disabled child
- the helpline has a registered immigration adviser who can give basic advice in immigration matters.
The SEN National Advice Service
Contact a Family has launched the only country-wide advice service for Special Educational Needs (SEN) – The SEN National Advice Service.
This service will help families whose child may have special educational needs – they will be able to provide advice and information on any aspect of a child’s education. Help is available through their helpline 0808 808 3555, or post a query on Contact a Family's Facebook or Twitter sites and a SEN adviser will get back to you. Or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What can you give advice and information about?
The SEN process - including:
- Early years
- School Action and School Action Plus
- Individual Education Plans (IEP’s)
- Statutory Assessment/ Statements
- Annual Reviews
- Transition planning and education after 16
Other general education issues as they affect children with SEN, which include:
- Transport to school
- Medical needs in school
- Attendance at school
- Home Education
The Mencap Learning Disability Helpline
The Learning Disability Helpline is an advice and information service for people with a learning disability, their families and carers. It also provides information and advice to anyone wanting to know about learning disability issues and services.
The Learning Disability Helpline is made up of a telephone helpline, community based advisers and the Mencap website. Community-based advisors support people with a learning disability, their parents and carers. They can do this by phone, email, post, a direct visit or a combination of these.
They give advice and information about:
By phone on 0808 808 1111, if you live outside England the automated system should forward you to your local helpline service, if it doesn't, the number for the Mencap Helpline in Wales is 01248 361 254, in Northern Ireland it is 02890 691 351 - both these numbers are chargeable so it is better to go through the 0808 808 111 number if you can. The service for Scotland is run by Enable, see below.
By textphone: 18001 0808 808 1111
By email at email@example.com
By text on 0771 7989 029
By post at: The Learning Disability Helpline, Mencap, 3rd Floor, Delta View, 2309-2311 Coventry Road, Birmingham B26 3PG
Enable in Scotland have a Helpline called Enable Direct. This is a customer helpline for people who have learning disabilities, their carers and family members. The Helpline number is 0300 0200 101 or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
GOV.UK provides a single point of online access to government services and information - including employment, financial support, rights, education, independent living and much more.
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The Nationwide Access Register allows you to search for shops, businesses and service providers throughout the United Kingdom that provide the access and facilities you need - everything from entrances, lifts and toilets to auxiliary aids such as Braille and staff assistance.
Health information that is easy to understand.
The Disability Information Website
Disability Direct is an online directory and disability website designed to help you find just the right information, support or equipment you need to live your life.
Advocacy groups bring people together who have a lot of experience in areas that you might be experiencing the same problems with, so are well worth a try – and people with learning disabilities should have access to an advocate if they want one.
To find a group in your area:
Advocacy Finder Helpline (Tuesday to Friday 11.00am – 2.00pm) on: 08451 228633
For advocacy groups in Scotland, contact the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance on 0131 260 5380, www.siaa.org.uk (they have an online search facility to find local groups) or email email@example.com
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These organisations offer specialist advice, they are listed by subject area:
Disability Information Advice Line Scope (DIAL)
Tel: 01302 310123
Contact a Family
Tel: 0808 808 3555
Supported Living Funds
For information on entitlements and options:
Tel: 0121 708 3031
Websites on general help in assessing care
Tel: 0844 2474 150
Shop for Support
Tel: 0333 600 6330
Independent Panel for Special Education Advice
Tel: 0800 0184016
Tel: 020 8538 3731/8255 7657
The Advisory Centre for Education
Tel: 0207 7043386
Tel: 0800 138 1418
The British Association for Supported Employment (BASE)
Tel: 08445 617445
Tel: 020 82465200
Tel: 01225 716300
Tel: 0118 950 8781
Tel: 0845 155 2821
Parents with Learning Disabilities
Special Parenting Service
Tel: 01872 358713
Tel: 0113 388 0011
Website to help find information: www.autismlink.co.uk
Directory of autism services: www.autismdirectory.org.uk
Asperger Initiative Tel: 01424 439691
Advance Housing and Support
Tel: 01993 712885
Housing Options Scotland
Tel: 0131 247 1400
Housing & Support Alliance
Tel: 0845 456 1497
Tel: 0207 3240750
My Safe Home
Tel 0800 121 333
Family Carer information
National Family Carer Network
Tel 01883 722 311 or 07747 460727
Princess Royal Trust for Carers
Tel: 0844 800 4361
If you provide information and advice to people and families of people with learning disabilities and their families and would like to tell us about it, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
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