We Can Access, where did it all start?
David Bara talks about why he and wife, Emma, set up www.wecanaccess.com and how they hope it will help people with disabilities, their families and the professionals who work with them.
September 26 2019Read Blog
Relationships—the key to an inclusive education by Elizabeth Wright.
Elizabeth Wright describes her own experience growing up and how strong relationships were the key to her positive and inclusive education.
October 13 2019Read Blog
I am my mum’s carer by Alfie, aged 6.
Alfie, aged 6, talks about his role as a young carer, looking after his mummy.
November 9 2019Read Blog
What I wish I’d known when I was teaching by David Bara
When I was a special needs teacher, I thought I knew lots. I was enthusiastic, I went on courses, listened, talked and did a master’s degree in Education. Along the way I had two children (well I didn’t, my wife Emma did). At school, I tried to advise and support the parents of kids with …
November 14 2019Read Blog
Celebrating autism and neurodiversity!
For us, there’s so much to celebrate and so much happiness that comes from being around autism and neurodiversity. Richard Nurse, founder of the digital visual timeline app, picturepath, recently asked through Quora ‘why it’s so hard to find the positives in autism?’ Here are some of the great answers he received… “I think it …
November 21 2019Read Blog
Visiting the doctor or hospital shouldn’t be that difficult – a few simple changes can make all the difference
By David Bara MEd PGCE BA(HONS) and UN SDG 3 champion. A visit to the doctor or hospital can be challenging if you are relatively healthy but if you are taking a child or adult with additional needs, have access issues yourself, need to juggle multiple appointments or to plan your transport, etc. it can …
November 24 2019Read Blog
Social Situations – teach your child how you want them to react.
by Paul Rose of YouTeachMeToo There comes a time when you have to decide: accept the status quo or take positive action. For 12 years I worked in UK schools, including a few years as a headteacher. Despite running a ‘successful’ school, I decided I could no longer watch young people being failed. So I …
November 27 2019Read Blog
From Cancer to SEND – a bumpy journey of acceptance.
It can be hard to transition from being a cancer family to a special educational needs and disability family. This is one family's story.
November 30 2019Read Blog
Choosing a school for your SEN child by Kate O’Riordan
Experienced Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), Kate O’Riordan talks about choosing a school for your SEN child. She draws on her experience both as a SENCO and as a mum of a child with Special Educational Needs (SEN). Choosing a school for SEN Finding the right school place for your child is one of the …
December 14 2019Read Blog
Making changes as a parent by Keighley Miles
Recently I found out that our local hospital has a CHSWG group (Children hearing services working together) and after attending some working in partnership training with National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) I decided to volunteer to become a parent representative. This means at the meeting I can put the parents’ views across and make the …
December 18 2019Read Blog
Hospital Play Workers, more than just a bit of fun!
by David Bara You might call them play workers, they are the people who you’ll find doing fun things in the hospital play rooms or who come and visit you by your hospital bed with armfuls of stickers, but did you know their proper title is likely to be Health Play Specialists (in the UK) …
December 21 2019Read Blog
Because of Indee, we created a community.
by Jane Allen, Indee Rose Trust In 2009 we sadly lost our beautiful daughter, Indee Rose, after a short illness diagnosed with a DIPG type brain tumour. At only 3 years of age, Indee showed us positivity, strength and her biggest gift was to show us how to stay happy and laugh her way throughout …
December 30 2019Read Blog
Reflections on the rewards of supporting refugee children and families
by Lynne Awbery, teacher of the deaf. A lawyer from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a mother from Sudan, a teacher from former Yugoslavia, an architect from Somalia, a doctor from Eritrea, a teenager from Rwanda, a carpenter from Afghanistan, a trafficked mother from Ghana, a housewife, widow and mother from Sri Lanka….. and …
January 8 2020Read Blog
Helping your kids with social situations
By Paul Rose, YouTeachMeToo. Have you ever found yourself in social situations that you were not sure how to handle? How did it make you feel? Awkward? Embarrassed? Confused? Angry? Frustrated? It can be hard to understand what other people really mean and expect from you, and it can be just as hard to get …
January 11 2020Read Blog
Autism and Accessibility
by Adam Barrett, Access Social Ltd. Being an older brother I have always been very protective of my little sister. (there’s 4 years difference between the two of us) This protectiveness has definitely been increased to biblical proportions due to her disability. Look at her the wrong way, use inappropriate language in her presence, I’ll …
January 22 2020Read Blog
Inclusion Starts with a Smile
Adam Murphy (Autism Dad) talks about caring for his adult son who is autistic and how inclusion starts with a smile; one woman’s kindness makes all the difference on shopping trips. I’m a 47 year old father of 3 boys. My eldest son has autistic spectrum disorder and learning disabilities. Autism is a word that …
January 28 2020Read Blog
Discovering Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes
Caroline Bailey talks about her journey to discovering she had Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes (EDS). When I was a little girl I was a little quirky. I remember walking to school with my brother and my mum saying “if you stand on a crack you’ll marry a bat and a rat will come to your wedding” 😂😂. …
February 3 2020Read Blog
Diagnosing Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
Hi, my name is Caroline Bailey and I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a rare and difficult disease to spot . I and 48 years old and have been married for 25 years. My 3 children are Samuel age 24, Robyn age 20 and Darcey age 15. I also have a stepdaughter age 37 and 2 step …
February 6 2020Read Blog
Tube feeding, my experience by Sam
14 year old Sam shares his experience of tube feeding and how it has impacted on his life. Tube feeding – first an NG tube I was 7 yrs old when I had my first feeding tube, this was because my body couldn’t absorb all of the essential nutrients that I needed in my diet, …
February 12 2020Read Blog
Crohn’s Disease, diagnosing my daughter.
by Gail Crampton Gail Crampton talks about the journey to diagnose her daughter with Crohn’s disease and why it has led her to campaign and write a book to help others. Crohn’s – it started with stomach pains When my daughter, Isabelle, was 6 she began having severe stomach pains, nausea and no appetite. It …
February 16 2020Read Blog
Making World Book Day Inclusive
Why is it so important to make World Book Day inclusive? Emma Bara explains why and shares a list of inclusive titles to get you started.
February 20 2020Read Blog
The Hidden Curriculum You Might Not Know About
by Barry Whelan The Hidden Curriculum In every classroom and every school, there is a formal curriculum the teacher teaches. Everyone knows what it is, and it is there for all to see and assess but what are schools covertly teaching unbeknownst to themselves? The answer can be known as the hidden curriculum. The hidden …
February 24 2020Read Blog
Moles Can’t Play Hide and Seek
Astrid Middleton describes her journey with the genetic eye condition retinitis pigmentosa. She also describes her and her son's attitudes to their neurodiversity and how they own it. This is what prompted her to write children's stories about being included and she shares one with us here.
March 2 2020Read Blog
Rodney, the hare that didn’t care (but he did really)
Gail Crampton talks about her book, Rodney the hare that didn’t care (but he did really). She explains why she wrote it to help children with hidden illnesses and medical conditions, and how important it is. It started with Crohns Rodney Meadow-Hopper, The Hare Who Didn’t Care (but he did really), was released at the …
March 4 2020Read Blog
Let’s Talk about Audrey Antelope
Disability on screen has been a rarity for far too long. Elizabeth Wright talks about Audrey Antelope and why she is so important to her. Let’s talk about Audrey Antelope. She is a character on the Genius Brand’s International show for Netflix, “Llama Llama” and represents all that is good about disability on screen. A …
March 9 2020Read Blog
Mitrofanoff – what??
By Aimee King I have just had yet another exhausting conversation with a medical professional who knows nothing about my mitrofanoff, telling me all about it. Now I understand that not many health care workers will know about my condition, but why not? something like a simple UTI which, trust me, I know a lot …
March 17 2020Read Blog
Educational YouTube resources while your kids are at home
With most children at home during this Covid-19 crisis, finding learning resources AND getting your kids to sit down to learn can be challenging. So we thought a list of educational YouTube channels that children and young adults will not only support their learning but also entertain them, would be useful. We are adding to …
March 26 2020Read Blog
Teaching SEN kids at home
Emma Bara talks about how she and her husband have managed with teaching their SEND kids at home. She talks about how important it is to accept what can be achieved and offers some ideas for others to try.
March 28 2020Read Blog
Teaching SEN kids at home – Waking Up and Maths!
Teaching can be challenging Teaching SEN kids at home is challenging at the best of times. We’ll be posting here regularly with ideas on teaching SEN kids at home. This post gives you some ideas on how to turn waking up into an easy Maths lesson. The Covid-19 crisis has sent us all home and …
March 30 2020Read Blog
Teaching SEN kids at home – English and Waking Up!
Teaching can be challenging Teaching SEN kids at home is challenging at the best of times. We’ll be posting here regularly with ideas on teaching SEN kids at home. This post gives you some ideas on how to turn waking up into an easy English lesson. The Covid-19 crisis has sent us all home and …
April 1 2020Read Blog
Teaching Special Needs Kids at Home – Science & Waking Up!
I feel overwhelmed! Teaching Special Needs kids at home can feel overwhelming sometimes, especially now, when our lives have changed overnight thanks to Covid-19. This post gives you some simple ideas on how to turn waking up into an easy Science lesson. You can do this! The Covid-19 crisis has sent us all home and …
April 4 2020Read Blog
A story about Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and hidden illness. Gemma Everson talks about her husband’s diagnosis of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis; how it impacted on her family and led her to write a children’s book. Our story began in July 2017. We had just welcomed our second daughter, Gracie, into our family and life was seemingly perfect. I …
April 9 2020Read Blog
Teaching Special Needs Kids at Home: Maths and Breakfast
Teaching Special Needs kids at home can feel overwhelming sometimes, especially now, when our lives have changed overnight thanks to Covid-19. However, the Covid-19 crisis has given us an opportunity to teach our children practical skills linked to the curriculum. This post gives you some ideas on how to turn breakfast time into a simple …
April 9 2020Read Blog
Teaching Special Needs Kids at Home; Science, Maths, English and Lunch time!!
Lunchtime and teaching? Here’s how! Teaching Special Needs kids at home can feel overwhelming sometimes, especially now, when our routines have changed overnight thanks to Covid-19. This post gives you some simple ideas on how to turn lunchtime into an easy Science, English and Maths lesson. Our previous posts have separated out the topics but …
April 15 2020Read Blog
Special Needs & Disabilities; What does the future hold?
We’re a long way from the end of the global epidemic of COVID-19. But now, more than ever, we need to take time to reflect on the quality of education that we provide for children with special needs and disabilities (SEND). The Covid-19 virus is hitting countries hard. Governments globally have said that countries will …
April 16 2020Read Blog
Covid-19: Creating more inclusive workplaces
Clare Kennelly is the founder and principal consultant at Inclusive Cork, a diversity and inclusion training provider. Clare talks about how Covid-19 has offered us the opportunity to make our working environments much more inclusive. She talks about what we are doing now and how we can continue to make more inclusive workplaces as we move …
April 20 2020Read Blog
Teaching Special Needs Kids at Home; Tidying!
Maths and tidying the house? Here’s how! In these days of lock down we are trying to juggle being a parent, housework, our day job and teaching our Special Needs kids at home! But there is a way to turn housework into an easy Maths lesson! Yes, honestly!! Tidying the house ! Teaching special needs …
April 20 2020Read Blog
Teaching Special Needs Kid at home; Cooking and Maths.
Cooking and Maths; Here’s how! In these days of lock down we are trying to juggle being a parent, housework, our day job and teaching Special Needs kids at home! But there is a way to turn cooking into easy Maths lessons! You may be seeing lots of talk online about how people are ‘giving …
April 24 2020Read Blog
Teaching our Special Needs kids at home; Cooking and English
Cooking and English (language); Here’s how! In these days of lock down we are trying to juggle being a parent, housework, day job and teaching our Special Needs kids at home! But there is a way to turn cooking into easy English lessons! You may be seeing lots of talk online about how people are …
April 26 2020Read Blog
SEND families are facing food difficulties.
Parent group, Let Us Communicate (LUC), talks about why SEND families are facing food difficulties during the Covid-19 crisis. They call for urgent help now. About Let Us Communicate LUC was founded in 2013 in Newham, one of the poorest areas within the UK. We are an independent support group for parents/carers of children and …
April 29 2020Read Blog
Teaching our Special Needs Kids at Home; Cooking, Science & Tech.
Cooking, Science & Tech; Here’s how! In these days of lock down we are trying to juggle being a parent, housework, our day job and teaching our Special Needs kids at home! But there is a way to turn cooking into easy lessons! You may be seeing lots of talk online about how people are …
May 1 2020Read Blog
Introducing my autistic son to fruit and veg.
Adam Murphy talks about how he introduced his autistic son to fruit, vegetables and exercise. In the process, helped him lose weight and become healthier all round.
May 1 2020Read Blog
SEND Physical Education and the challenges
Adam Price talks about the challenges that pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) pupils face when participating in Physical Education (PE) classes. Competition, communication and sensory processing, can make SEND Physical Education challenging but Adam addresses these challenges and suggests how PE teachers can make adaptations to enable those students to access the …
May 3 2020Read Blog
Learning and Laundry!!
Who knew you could learn as you do laundry? Mundane jobs around the house are also opportunities for learning. Pick up some quick ideas and tips here.
May 6 2020Read Blog
Learning and Laundry Part 2
Did you know you could turn hanging up the washing into a learning oppportunity? Here we share some ideas on how to learn AND get some help in the process.
May 8 2020Read Blog
Living a Great Life with Autism
Charl Baillie wasn't diagnosed with autism until she was an adult. She faced many people telling her what she couldn't do. Here, Charl tells how she ignored them all, went to university and has been doing her dream job for 30 years!
May 10 2020Read Blog
Keanu’s Story – a story of Juvenile Epilepsy.
Stacey Smiley talks about her son, Keanu's, journey with epilepsy from the age of 1 to now, 5 years later. She talks about his diagnosis, what impact it had on Keanu and about discovering the epilepsy was caused by a CHD2 gene mutation. Stacey also gives some useful tips on how to interract with people with hidden disabilities.
May 17 2020Read Blog
Don’t blame me!
Clive Osborne is is an experienced SEND teacher and a qualified conflict resolution practitioner. Here Clive talks about blame, what it is, why we do it, the damage it can cause and how we can put things right.
May 25 2020Read Blog
Sensory Theatre, Online!
Head2Head Sensory Theatre is theatre made to be accessible for young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Covid-19 restrictions have meant they have had to stop touring. Sara, Head2Head's artistic director, explains how that has just made them more creative!
May 31 2020Read Blog
Learning through Pet Care
Teaching our Special Needs kids at home can be tough and often requires an imaginative approach. Here we show you how to make everyday activities, such as caring for your pet, into valuable learning opportunities.
June 3 2020Read Blog
Inclusion is child’s play!
Emma Bara discusses how to make inclusive thinking and planning second nature. She discusses how inclusion and adaptation is natural for children and how much we can learn from them.
June 7 2020Read Blog
Reflective Practice: Working with Autistic Children
Robert Corish talks about how he changed the way he viewed children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and became a better teacher for it.
June 14 2020Read Blog
Is Less More in Special Education?
Josh Nash discusses why having the RIGHT information to work with SEN children is more important than having ALL the information.
June 22 2020Read Blog
Riding for the Disabled
Deborah Hall is manager of Chigwell Riding Trust for Special Needs. In this post she talks about the amazing work they do and the difference it can make in people's lives. We also hear from parents of the riders who explain why riding is so important to them.
June 25 2020Read Blog
Teaching your SEN child at home – Going For a Walk, Part 1
There are learning opportunities in everything we do. Here we show you how your daily activities can help you teach your child. Going for a walk can be fun and there are so many ways and chances to learn, but before you even go out there is so much learning you can do.
July 6 2020Read Blog
Living with a Disabled Sibling.
Grace Williams has a brother with severe autism, she has also just finished a finished a degree in BA (Hons) Special Education and has experience as a teaching assistant in special schools. Here she discusses why siblings should feature more when care provision is being discussed for a disabled person, and why they need support too.
July 7 2020Read Blog
7 year old Alfie is his mum's primary carer. Here he talks about the impact that Covid-19 and the Lockdown has had on him and how he feels about it.
July 14 2020Read Blog
Stacey Smiler explains what clubfoot (talipes) is. She describes her reaction to finding out her son's diagnosis and Keanu's subsequent treatment.
July 20 2020Read Blog
Surviving and Thriving in ASD class teaching
Niall Drea spoke to teachers who have made the move from mainstream primary to autism class teaching in recent years. He discovered how a shift in mindset can help you and your students to thrive.
July 28 2020Read Blog
What is inclusion?
Crystal Hart talks about inclusion and asks if our current understanding of inclusion and our practices are really inclusive.
August 6 2020Read Blog
Steve Webster, founder of FND Dimensions talks about the charity's work to raise awareness of Functional Neurological Disorders and provides support services to help patients deal with and understand their condition.
August 15 2020Read Blog
DOWN to SEN?
Adele Ramet heard a teacher on a UK radio talk about her students as being 'from grammar school level, all the way down to SEN'. Here she talks about her grandchildren who both have SEN (Special Educational Needs) and why they are not at the bottom of any scale.
August 23 2020Read Blog
Are we still aiming high for our disabled children?
Are we still AIMING HIGH for disabled Children/Young People? One autistic mother thinks that entrenched ideas of what Special Needs and Disabilities (SEND) is means that many SEND children are not even offered the chance to show their potential.
August 27 2020Read Blog
Enjoying university with a disability
Charlotte Smith took the leap back into education aged 21. But studying for a degree and navigating daily life with a disability presented her with a challenge unlike any other. As she embarks on the final year of her studies, she reflects on her university experiences and how they have changed her for the better.
September 8 2020Read Blog
Cystic Fibrosis throughout history: how has life expectancy gone from being 14 years old to 40 years old?
Using Cystic Fibrosis as an example, Isobelle Moores discusses how developments in science other the years have impacted on the lives of many people with life changing conditions.
October 8 2020Read Blog
It all changed with one stroke
Adele Ramet describes how her life suddenly changed from being active and independent to suddenly needing full time care following a devastating stroke.
October 20 2020Read Blog
Banking could learn something from gaming.
Banking could learn from gaming! David Bara explains how online banking could be made more accessible for all by taking some tips from the gaming industry.
October 21 2020Read Blog
Grace Williams raises the issues faced by UK families with disabled children during the Covid 19 pandemic. She highlights the additional pressures children and parents are facing and discusses the impact it is having on the families.
October 23 2020Read Blog
James Fellowes, Founder and CEO of Bridge of Hope describes his journey from privilege to unemployment, in a blithely honest way. Read more to find out how unemployment impacted on his mental health and why he set up Bridge of Hope.
November 3 2020Read Blog
WeCanAccess Student Challenge
WeCanAccess has teamed up with Disability Rights Magazine to challenge university students to write articles that will inspire better inclusion and accessibility. Read here for more info on how to enter.
November 28 2020Read Blog
WeCanAccess says farewell to 2020 with a quick roundup of all we have acheived this year and looks forward to 2021 and the exciting projects ahead.
December 17 2020Read Blog
Special Education Students Can Learn Anywhere with Bookshare
Learn about Bookshare, which provides free ebooks and reading tools for special education students so they can learn anywhere and anytime.
January 22 2021Read Blog
The beauty of Music Therapy
In this blog we talk about the benefits of music therapy and how it can support individuals with additional needs.
February 23 2021Read Blog
Karen McGuinness from West Cheshire Autism Hub describes autistic burnout and explains what people can do to help prevent it.
March 18 2021Read Blog
Special Work Experience
Assistant Headteacher, Joe White describes providing work experience for pupils with autism or speech, language and communication needs.
March 28 2021Read Blog
Mike Wood MBE talk about disabled sailing; what it is, why it is so important to him and what it can do for people with disabilities.
April 11 2021Read Blog
Your daughter’s not a criminal, so why does she need a lawyer?
Emma Bara discusses how she was encouraged to hire a lawyer by the local authority to ensure her child was allowed to go to the school that would best support her special educational needs.
June 2 2021Read Blog
Gravesend Dynamite! Disabled Rugby Club for All.
Jason Owen is coach and founder of disabled rugby club the Gravesend Dynamite. Here he explains why he started the club why disabled rugby is so very special.
June 18 2021Read Blog
My teachers helped make me strong!
Positivity towards disability Resika Paranitharan has cerebral palsy. Here she talks about how the positive attitude and support she received from her school and college have enabled her to be independent, brave and proud. Introducing Resika My name is Resika Paranitharan. I have Cerebral Palsy (CP), which affects my limbs partially, therefore I use a …
July 2 2021Read Blog
Head2Head Sensory Theatre – Piccolo Pinocchio!
Sara from Head2head Sensory Theatre tells WeCanAccess about their latest interactive and inclusive performance, Piccolo Pinocchio! Learn who's in it and how to join in!
July 14 2021Read Blog
We are inviting your school or club to take part in our WeCanAccess Youth activity to make your classrooms and playgrounds more inclusive and accessible for everyone!
August 9 2021Read Blog
SEND teachers – talk to your parents!
talks about why it is so important to listen to the parents of special needs children.
September 5 2021Read Blog
Tourette's and existing services in the UK, she is now campaigning to raise awareness about this very misunderstood condition. Here she explains what Tourette's Syndrome is, what it is like living with the condition and about the campaign.
September 21 2021Read Blog
WeCanAccess Youth – India
The WeCanAccess Youth activity aims to improve accessibility and inclusion in schools by helping students to have a better understanding of the challenges that their differently abled peers may face. It asks pupils to come up with ideas on how they might support and include their friends at the same time as asking pupils with disabilities to explain what actions would help them. This is some of the work produced by pupils in India.
October 27 2021Read Blog
WeCanAccess Youth – India 2
Welcome to our 2nd post where we show some of the outstanding work received from Study Hall School in Uttar Pradesh in India on improving accessibility and inclusion. The thoughtful work below was submitted by an pupil at Study Hall School in year 3, aged just 8 years old! The WeCanAccess Youth activity aims to …
October 28 2021Read Blog
WeCanAccess Youth – India 3
Welcome to our 3rd post where we show some of the outstanding work received from Study Hall School in Uttar Pradesh in India on improving accessibility and inclusion.
November 2 2021Read Blog
WeCanAccess Youth – Dosti
See the exceptional work from the students with special educational needs and disabilities from DOSTI, a Study Hall School in Uttar Pradesh in India on how to make life more accessible and inclusive.
November 2 2021Read Blog
Good access, good inclusion, good business!
WeCanAccess talks about the Island Riding Centre in the Isle of Wight, an excellent example how accessibility and inclusion is good for business.
December 2 2021Read Blog
Life with hidden disabilities
Sarah* is a student at university who also has a caring responsibility for her younger brother. He . He has been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Anxiety, Depression, Psychosis and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Here she talks about her brother's needs, how he hides his mental health illnesses and what support he needs.
December 17 2021Read Blog
Goodbye 2021, Hello 2022
Emma Bara, Co-founder of WeCanAccess, takes a quick look back at 2021 and what is coming in 2022. Goodbye 2021 So we are at the end of 2021 and we have a lot to be proud of at WeCanAccess. WeCanAccess looks very different to how we imagined it would when we first started out, Covid …
December 29 2021Read Blog
Emilie shares her story around general anxiety disorder (GAD) and social anxiety, how these conditions have affected her, how friends have helped her and what you can do to help people you may know, who may have these conditions. Hello, my name is Emilie! I have various different disorders, and neurological differences, including Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, …
January 6 2022Read Blog
Allergic to Gravity!!
Hi, I am Skye and I am allergic to gravity… well not exactly but I do have a syndrome called Pots, which often makes it feel like that. In this blog I am going to explain about PoTs, my experiences with it and how you can help someone with PoTs like me.
July 1 2022Read Blog
My experience as a young carer
A Carer at 14 Hi, my name is Skye and throughout my teenage years I was a young carer to my younger sister who has a rare genetic disorder. Now I am at university, I’m going to share my experience as a young carer to hopefully bring more awareness and give others some insight into …
September 4 2022Read Blog
SEND kids are more vulnerable to gangs
Children and young people with learning difficulties and additional needs are often targeted by criminal gangs and extremist groups. This is a group of kids who are often isolated and feel they do not fit in to wider society. This makes them particularly vulnerable when people come along who welcome them and give them trust …
October 24 2022Read Blog