"On my visit to Liam's* school I taught him how to open the heavy doors on his own in order to increase his independence, and solved the problem of how Jake could fit under the desks by getting him to remove his arm rests.”
*name has been changed
Peer support and participation are crucial to adjustment and wellbeing along with a sense of SCI being manageable by the child/family.
Many children & young people with spinal cord injury are not fully included in all aspects of education (Back Up/Institute of Education, 2008). A higher level of education is linked to better life outcomes with spinal cord injury.
The schools and families inclusion service was set up in 2009 in response to research conducted by the Institute of Education into the school lives of children and young people with a spinal cord injury. Read the report here
Read the impact report here
The schools and families inclusion service has a positive impact on children and young people through:
- inspiring people affected by SCI to transform their lives
- challenging perceptions of disability
- building children's confidence and independence and offering a supportive network
The impact measures ask young people:
- How included do you feel at school
- How happy are you at school
- Do you think your teachers understand what help you might need
- Do yuo think your friends understand your injury
- How do you feel about your future at school
Back Up runs sessions at schools with the aim of raising disability awareness and to creating a more understanding and inclusive culture for chidlren returning to school after their injury.
After a two hour session students were asked:
Has the Back Up session changed your feelings about people in wheelchairs?
91% of those who responded answered yes.
"Because understanding makes it easier to be around them."
“The project supported me very well via Mum and Dad, and staff at school - the guidance I have had is really useful - it made me more confident. I am very happy at school and feel totally included”
(young man age 17- Cornwall)