Enabling Technology – Welcome to the Enabling Technology May 2019 Newsletter!

Welcome to the Enabling Technology May 2019 Newsletter!

As always, we hope that you will find something of interest in our newsletter but if not, or if you have any comments or questions, just drop us a quick email and let us know. We’d be delighted to hear from you.
You can email us at: info@enablingtechnology.com or call on 01785 243111. Mark.


This month we take a look at:

Dates for your Diary

And finally..   If the links do not work, please view this newsletter in your browser.

The ‘untold misery’ of special needs shortfalls
Large funding shortfalls for special educational needs in schools are causing “untold misery” for thousands of families, a teaching union says.  National Education Union analysis found spending was not keeping pace with rapidly increasing demand in nearly all (93%) of England’s local councils.
It said between 2015 and 2018, the number of special needs care plans grew 33%, while funding rose only 6%.  The government says it is investing an extra £100m in special needs places.  The NEU released its analysis of official figures at its annual conference in Liverpool where it will debate the issue.  It said nearly two-thirds of England’s local councils are spending less per pupil with complex needs than they were three years ago, in real terms.Read the full article: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-47827856
Autistic authors’ guide maps out route to quality care
A new guide – written solely by autistic people – aims to show care providers, commissioners and inspectors how to provide “quality care” for other autistic people.
An Independent Guide to Quality Care for Autistic People has been written by members of the National Autistic Taskforce (NAT) and has a “heavy emphasis” on developing choice and control for service-users.  The guide says: “The more autonomy a person has, the less support services need to rely on external authorities such as good practice guides, instead looking to the person themselves as the primary source of information, instruction and guidance.”
Among its recommendations is that care providers should make the protection of service-users’ autonomy “a core priority” and ensure they have choice and control over “major life decisions and not just everyday choices”.Read the full article here: https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/autistic-authors-guide-maps-out-route-to-quality-care/
Exam-friendly reading pens!
The UK examination season is here, so we wanted to make sure you’re aware of reading pens designed and approved for use during exams.
The C-Pen Exam Reader, for example, has been approved by The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ)* for use in exams. It is a major aid for anyone struggling to read English exam questions. The C-Pen Exam Reader is a totally portable, pocket-sized device that reads text out aloud with an English human-like digital voice.
Students who have reading difficulties such as dyslexia can independently take exams knowing that they can read and understand the questions with no special access arrangements required.
The pen is half the size of other portable pen scanners on the market and at 50g is half the weight.
As well as promoting Independent Reading this pen is:

  • Ideal for hearing words & lines of text read aloud.
  • Great for students with dyslexia, reading difficulties and English as a second language.
  • Designed to allow students to be with their peers in the main exam hall with headphones plugged into their pens.
  • Available in a class set of ten pens, and schools can take advantage of a 30-day free trial.

for more information and pricing, please visit our website, call us on 01785 243111, or email us at info@enablingtechnology.com.

Story Sign – Helping deaf children to readHuawei have been in the news quite a lot lately, mostly over issues surrounding their implementation of global 5G superfast wireless networks. However, the company is using Artificial Intelligence to help deaf children to read. Here’s what they say:

“At Huawei our mission is to make the world a better place, we believe that technology should enrich people’s lives and AI can extend the boundaries of what is humanly possible.  Many of the 32 million deaf children in the world struggle to read. We believe Huawei AI technology can help to open the world of books to them.

This is why we developed StorySign, an app powered by Huawei AI that reads selected children’s books and translates them into sign language. StorySign is available to all on the Google Play Store in ten European countries. It is free to download and use.

StorySign was developed in partnership with the European Union of the Deaf and the British Deaf Association with a joint mission to raise awareness of deaf child literacy and to inspire people and organisations to get involved and support their local deaf charity. The money raised through donations will be used by the charities to fund deaf literacy projects, one of which is more books for StorySign.”

Read more on the Huawei website: https://consumer.huawei.com/uk/campaign/storysign/


Living With Sight Loss In Your 20s: ‘It’s Not The Only Thing That Defines Us’
Your early 20s are some of the most transformative years of your life: you might be living it up at university, moving out of the family home or swapping a casual Saturday job for a full-blown career. You’re discovering who you are as an adult –  so imagine doing all that while losing your eyesight.Read the full article here: https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/what-its-like-to-experience-sight-loss-in-your-20s_uk_5cbedb4fe4b00b3e70cec541
Hinds asks heads how to solve special-needs budget squeeze
Schools are facing “knock-on pressure” as demand for special-needs support rises, England’s Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, has admitted to head teachers.Speaking at the National Association of Head Teachers annual conference, Mr Hinds asked for their advice on changes to special-needs funding.  NAHT general secretary Paul Whiteman called the current picture “bleak”. But he added: “The solution is simple – more money from the Treasury.”

Read the full article here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-48138031

Don’t forget - we have a huge range of assistive hardware and software available to buy online at very competitive pricing on our website. We offer free trials for most of our software, and also the services of our professional, friendly and highly experienced fully DBS checked assistive technology trainers. We also offerWorkplace Strategy Trainingwhich is highly effective in increasing productivity, particularly for Access to Work clients. http://enablingtechnology.com
Dates for your Diary…Cerebral Palsy Sport Athletics Series – Stoke Mandeville Stadium 11th May 2019, Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Guttmann Road, Aylesbury, HP21 9PP This event is part of an Athletics Series with a National Championships to be held in Doncaster in September. http://www.activityalliance.org.uk/get-active/events/4868-cerebral-palsy-sport-athletics-series-stoke-mandeville-stadium
East Midlands 2019 Inclusive Event for Competitive Disability Swimmers 12 May, Cost £16.00, Braunstone Leisure Centre, 2 Hamelin Road, Leicester, LE3 1JN Promoted by Leicestershire ASA, the East Midlands inclusive swimming event is open to all competitive disability swimmers. http://www.activityalliance.org.uk/get-active/events/4865-east-midlands-2019-inclusive-event-for-competitive-disability-swimmers
Improving student mental health outcomes Date & time: Thursday, 16 May 2019, 10:00 – 16:05 Venue: Mary Ward House Conference & Exhibition Centre, London. Recognition of student mental health and wellbeing issues has led to a culture change in further and higher education institutions. This conference will bring together F/HEIs, public, voluntary and third sector service providers; service users and mental health professionals to review progress made in addressing MH on campus’, share best practices and develop their approach to improving student mental health outcomes.


And finally…“There’s a bathroom on the right”, and “taco bottoms”?
For people like me with a hearing impairment, misheard song lyrics are part and parcel of everyday life. Cue howls of laughter when you realise what the lyrics actually are:

See you next month!


Please follow the link for more information - https://mailchi.mp/enablingtechnology.com/enabling-technology-newsletter-may-3426869?e=4bda97b2c0

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