Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Helping adults with a disability to vote

What do you do if you get to the polling station and you can't read the voting slip or write a cross ? This question came up and I wasn't sure of the answer so I wrote to Leonard Cheshire Disability who are running a My Vote My Say campaign and this was the reply I got :

'If you would like to vote in person but cannot read the ballot paper or make the cross on the ballot paper yourself you are entitled to be accompanied by a support worker to the polling station and your support worker, under your instruction, can read out the ballot paper to you and place the cross where you instruct them to do so. If you do not have a support worker you can also ask the polling station staff to do this for you.
All polling station staff will have been instructed on how they can support people with an impairment at the polling stations on election day but if you want additional assurance, the electoral commission is producing a template letter that voters can take to the polling station that reminds polling station staff of the electoral commission guidance and the fact that you are entitled to have a support worker assist you or be assisted by polling station staff. This resource is not available' but will be in the near future.

The ability to remain fully impartial is obviously important and there is guidance from the Charities Commission Charities and Elections

Monday, 22 March 2010

Photograpy competition for people with a learning disability.

Mencap has launched its film and photography competition SNAP ! The theme this year is what you do to be active: for example
- doing sports
- going for walks
- going to the park
- going swimming
- playing computer games
The competition is open to people with a learning disability and others but the photograph must be something to do with learning disability. Each photo or film should also have a story with it about why it was made .(about 100 words)

There is an
easy read guide to finding the correct settings on the camera (fine)

Help with taking a good photograph /film can also be found at Oska Bright. The guidance is about making a film but I found it very useful for taking photos as well.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Assertiveness resource

It was easy to find clips on You Tube that showed aggressive behaviour.
Finding material to illustrate passive and assertive behaviour was less easy.
I used a resource from our college library:
It is age appropriate,it features adults and is suitable for entry level students

Also view my blog entry
Social Communication

Gardener's delight

The Geranium plants arrived this week and what an amazing sight to see 72 healthy little plants tucked up safely in a box all the way from Jersey!

My Life skills group has planted them on into bigger pots which has bought colour and life to the greenhouse.
For our Enterprise module the 'Greenfingers Garden Company' will plant up and sell hanging baskets and patio pots. We have ordered plug plants of Geraniums,Petunias,Fuchsias and Busy Lizzie's and are also growing from seed (hopefully the warmer weather will speed these up now).

Also see my blog entries for Gardening and the award winning Centre for Autism enterprise project

Thursday, 18 March 2010


We were introduced to Boccia today. Its a game which has many forms but one version is similar to boules .The good thing about it is its a sport that can be played by everyone with a disability and can be played as a leisure activity or followed through to Olympic level.(see the story about Chris Myers at the BBC)

If you would like to find out more about Boccia NGFL has a PowerPoint to download with all the rules and a series of lesson plans to take you through teaching the skills.

You can also look at Olympics 2012 site

Parasport which has information about clubs to join.

CP Sport England& Wales for training courses.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010


Makaton has a free download available

A voice heard

Now is a good time to raise student's awareness about the British election which must happen by early June. The most important thing at this stage is that any one who wants to vote and has not done so already registers to vote.Once the election is called anyone who has not already registered only has a week to do so.

You can find out about registering to vote at
About my vote.

You could also order some easy read material to help students understand about voting such as
Easy-Read Guide to Voting Booklet
from the
Electoral commission Resource section ( I have tried ordering this twice with no luck!)

The student friendly Promote the Vote site is a useful resource.
It has a section
Who to vote for .
It also has Easy Read material :
Every Vote Counts (currently out of stock! but you can order and wait...)
Many organisations are working to ensure people with a disability have a say in this election. Mencap Get my Vote

'Almost one million people with a learning disability are eligible to vote in the UK - but just one in five chose to do so in the last general election.

Our political system has shown itself to be unable - and unwilling - to involve everyone in democracy, and as a result people with a learning disability are missing out on a key opportunity to get their voices heard' Mencap website

Leonard Cheshire Disability have a campaign My Vote My Say

Sense, the charity for Deaf Blind are running a campaign to make Parliamentary candidates aware of disability issues

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Healthy or full of fat and salt...?

Rate these foods: healthy /unhealthy ?
  • Jordans Country Crisp
  • Fox's Butter Crunch Crinkles
  • Danone Activia intensely creamy yogurt
  • Kellogg's Cornflakes
  • Heinz Baked Beans
  • McVitie's Hobnobs
The answers can be found in an article from The Independent

'the Food Standards Agency's has dropped its insistence that manufacturers use 'traffic light' colours as part of efforts to reduce obesity, heart disease and other diet-related illnessess'

This 'compromise' opens the gate for supermarkets to use much less transparent methods for identifying health /unhealthy foods for example, using percentages to show the amount of salt and fat
in the food.
I've been exploring convenience foods with my students and we needed to have a simple way to know if the food was healthy.
We started with McCains chips. (cooking schedule to download)
McCains use the easy to understand traffic lights system and we could all understand that green meant yes its good, amber be careful and red don't eat it very often.

Download our information sheet

Download our worksheet

We had made a good start but we weren't so lucky with our future purchases and we just couldn't tell if the microwave meals were healthy or not.

The full implementation of the food labelling traffic light system from the Food Standards agency would have been a great tool to help everyone make healthy choices. We all need the traffic lights!

Saturday, 13 March 2010


Mathsticks is a very good place to find downloadable resources for milestone 8, entry 1 numeracy. There is for example a game called Cover Up to practise
number bonds to 10 or 20

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Learning about aggression

Part of being assertive is learning to recognise and understand aggressive behaviour in ourselves and others. EastEnders is jammed full of aggressive behaviour There are examples of

finger pointing
angry faces
unkind words
physical violence
standing too close
View the You Tube clips:
Johnny threatens Dennis's wife Sharon -

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Safet signs resource

The Health and Safety Sign Association has produced some educational resources for understanding safety signs. The Key stage 1 resources would fit in well with Entry 1 Health and Safety for students with a learning difficulty.The resources include word searches based around each safety sign, printouts of the health and safety sign shapes and worksheets to help learn the meaning of the signs.
The PowerPoint in the vocational section introduces safety signs .It is a little bit wordy but could be adapted.
Source :Primary Resources Blog

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Sticks and Stones

People with a learning disabilities are still the victims of bullying and harassment
Sticks and Stones is on Channel 4 this Friday at 7.30pm

If you are viewing this through a reader visit the blog to view the video clip