News

Welcome to our round-up of news for the UK Jewish learning disabilities community. If you know of something you'd like to share let us know here.

Click on the titles below for the full story....

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What happens when I’m no longer around?

February 2018

www.hft.org.uk have produced a film for family carers who have a relative with a learning disability, autism, or both. It addresses the key areas of planning for your relative’s future when you’re no longer around.

The film includes information that we feel is important for people to know about, through our own conversations with family carers , as well as key information from Thinking Ahead – a future planning guide written by Christine Towers from Together Matters. We hope this film provides a useful introduction to help you start planning your futures together.

https://www.hft.org.uk/our-services/family-carer-support-service/fcss-updates/what-happens-when-im-no-longer-around/

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Disability World: Company seeks autism skills

11 January 2018

London company Auticon is offering careers in IT and related areas specifically for people with autism.

Auticon is an award-winning IT and compliance consulting business. It only employs people on the autistic spectrum on the grounds that they have unique skills. Clients include blue chip companies like the Allianz Group and Siemens, and the company expands its services to areas where employees show particular strengths.

Job coaches prepare Auticon staff to work with clients, give briefings on corporate culture and, like Kisharon, offer travel training.
Auticon was founded in the knowledge that individuals with autism often have exceptional talents in logic, attention to detail, accuracy and pattern recognition. Many have a strong interest in IT, physics, maths and technology.

An Auticon spokesman says: “Despite being highly intelligent and qualified, many find it difficult to access or maintain mainstream careers. Challenges in social interactions – such as eye and body contact or the interpretation of facial expressions can make it stressful to navigate everyday work interactions.”

For more information, go to: http://auticon.co.uk

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Autism first for Kisharon School

11 January 2018

The National Autistic Society (NAS) has awarded Kisharon School its sought-after accreditation for autism, making it the first Jewish school with the accolade.

It acknowledges the school’s understanding of autism and its outstanding commitment to supporting pupils with the condition.
website autism.

Although autistic pupils represent only a quarter of the school population – others have some autistic traits – they are well supported with developed specialist approaches and methods, the NAS report said.

Kisharon School worked towards the accreditation for two years. The NAS assessment itself took place over three days when classes were observed, and staff and pupils with autism, as well as their parents, were interviewed. School policies and programmes for individual students were scrutinised vigorously.

The report said: “Autistic pupils presented as calm, content and at ease within their environment. The early signs of anxiety or upset are addressed and on the rare occasion where it was felt necessary to intervene to control a pupil’s behaviour, this is done in a considered, purposeful way and in keeping with the school’s commitment to a last resort approach.”

School Head Sora Kopfstein said: “To be recognised is extremely encouraging for all our staff, parents and students. It demonstrates that we are offering some of the best autism-specific services in the Jewish community.”

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Death Cafe

Starting in January 2018, Larches Community will be holding its first Death Cafe which will then take place monthly.

Date: Last Monday of each month

Time: 6-8pm

Address: Larches House, 1 Rectory Lane, Edgware, Middlesex, HA8 7LF

At a Death Cafe, people drink tea, eat cake and discuss death. Our aim is to increase awareness of death to help people make the most of their (finite) lives.

A Death Cafe is an open, respectful and confidential space where people can express their views safely.

Booking: linda.edwards@larchestrust.org.uk or sgreenyer@hotmail.co.uk.

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Disability World: Write on!

It’s never easy to write a formal, official letter – particularly when it comes to making a complaint or fighting for something we’re entitled to. But help is at hand…
Disability Grants, which pools together useful information about grants and how to apply for them, has brought together a comprehensive and useful selection of templates that range from requesting an assessment of needs to complaining about cuts to a care package. The templates are a helpful starting point for communicating with statutory authorities. You can just copy and paste the letter you require and personalise it with your own details and information.

The templates follow a recommended format and are drawn together from different organisations including Cerebra, Citizens Advice, the National Autistic Society and many others. It’s well worth a look. You can access these templates under ‘Resources’ on the Disability Grants website, or directly at: http://www.disability-grants.org/template-letters.html

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Jewish Care Interact

Jewish Care Interact is managed by Jewish Care, the largest health and social care organisation serving the Jewish community in London and the South East of England.

Jewish Care Interact was born of the desire to support older and disabled Jewish people—along with their friends, family and carers—to lead meaningful lives wherever they are in the UK and whenever they choose.

As we live in the digital age, we decided to make the most of technology and deliver this service online.

We're a small but nimble team of staff and volunteers supported by the wider community. We work with experts within Jewish Care and other Jewish and non-Jewish third sector organisations, but most importantly we have developed this service alongside its users—from older and disabled people to their friends, families and carers.

You can access Jewish Care Interact's Learning Disabilities pages here.

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Dashing out to the shops…?

Women juggle their lives every day – but routine tasks like shopping become even harder if you have a child with disabilities.

Samantha Buck, mum to two teenagers and Alfie, a severely disabled 10-year-old is a campaigner for Changing Places toilets. Unlike ordinary ‘disabled toilets’ these have far more space and equipment including a height adjustable adult-sized changing bench and a hoist, making them suitable for people with profound and multiple disabilities.

Without a Changing Places toilet, Samantha needs to change Alfie on the floor of a public toilet – after cleaning it first – and with the door open to maximise the available space. Then she relies on help from another family member to ease Alfie back into his wheelchair.
The Changing Places campaign which celebrates its 10th anniversary later this month, wants to see Changing Places toilets in city centres, shopping centres, hospitals, train stations, airports, motorway service stations, sports stadiums and other places to ensure all disabled people can attend hospital appointments, enjoy community life, travel and socialise with the same dignity as everyone else.
To read an account of a shopping trip with no accessible Changing Places toilet, and find out how to join the campaign read Samantha’s story here.

The campaign website http://www.changing-places.org  has a national register of Changing Places toilets and location map.

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It's good to talk...

Save this number: 0300 222 5949

After joining forces with learning disabilities charities Langdon and Kisharon, Jweb is set to make news again with the launch of our national telephone helpline. Aimed at families, carers and people with learning disabilities, this new resource offers confidential emotional support, signposting and information on relevant services in the Jewish and wider communities.

www.jweb.org.uk is proving to be a valuable resource for connecting our visitors with services and organisations which can help them. The introduction of the helpline will enhance our existing service and will enable our team to offer personalised support which is great news for our community. Call 0300 222 5949 or email your questions confidentially to helpline@jweb.org.uk.

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