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Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2006): Services for the disabled - UK

Early childhood intervention:  possibilities and prospects for professionals, families and children

B. Carpenter

British Journal of Special Education, vol.32, 2005, p.176-183

The political climate in the UK is favourable for the development of a cohesive national programme of early childhood intervention focused on disabled children and their families.  Article reviews the programmes currently in operation and concludes that: 1) early interventions should be delivered at the point of diagnosis; 2) practice must be transdisciplinary; and 3) high quality training must be made available to professionals.

The education and employment of disabled young people: frustrated ambition

T. Burchardt

Policy Press, 2005

Study compared the aspirations of disabled and non-disabled young people and examined the extent to which those aspirations were achieved.  The scope and level of aspirations among disabled 16-year-olds were similar to those of their non-disabled counterparts.  Three-fifths of each group wanted to stay on in education and between on quarter and one third were aiming for a professional qualification.  However, despite similar aspirations, the experience of disabled and non-disabled young people diverged sharply in early adulthood.  Three-fifths of non-disabled young people reported that they got the education or training place or job they wanted after leaving school, whereas just over half of the disabled young people said the same.  At the age of 18/19, the highest qualification of 48% of disabled young people was at the equivalent of NVQ level 1 or below (GCSE grades D-G or below), compared with 28% of non-disabled young people.  At age 26, disabled people were nearly four times more likely to be unemployed than non-disabled young people.  Among those in employment, earnings were 11% lower than their non-disabled counterparts with the same level of educational qualifications.

An end to a means

A.U. Sale

Community Care, Dec.8th-14th 2005, p.32-33

The means testing of the grant that helps parents of disabled children pay for adaptations to their home has been abolished in England.  However, the maximum grant a family can receive is £25,000, which is often insufficient to meet the full cost of the adaptations required.  There are also concerns that local authorities will not have enough cash to pay the grant to all applicants.


K. Leason

Community Care, Dec.1st-7th 2005, p.30-31

Parents caring for seriously disabled children can become resentful of the demands made on them and break under the strain.  More extensive provision of respite care could help families cope.

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