Youtubers, assistive technology experts and professionals working with young people who have special educational needs and disabilities will gather for the UK’s first national festival dedicated to specialist learning. Young people have helped plan FestABLE’s diverse programme which includes all sorts from the chance to go in the country’s only wheelchair-accessible hot air balloon and play with eye-gaze controlled computer games, to sessions on speech and occupational therapy, Education, Health and Care plans, early autism intervention, SEND reform and removing the barriers to achievement.
National Star College hosts the one-day event on Saturday June 2 at its campus in Cheltenham where it will also show how its students are taught, including experimental activities and the opportunity to discuss its practices. National Star is the first college in the country under the new Ofsted regime to receive a double outstanding in every category of Ofsted and Care Quality Commission ratings.
FestABLE visitors can also find out how children learn language and how to make young people with disabilities feel they are truly being listened to.
David Ellis, Chief Executive of National Star, believes there is an increasing drive to discuss how best to support young people with learning disabilities and learning difficulties and help them to achieve difficult things.
“FestABLE will be an opportunity to talk about what’s challenging all of us involved in Special Educational Needs and find paths ahead for all the learners and their families,” he added.
Award-winning writer and actress Sally Phillips – who starred in the Bridget Jones trilogy and fronted the BBC documentary A World Without Down’s Syndrome? – is one of many guest speakers at FestABLE who will bringan insight from their personal and professional experiences.
They include Max J Green, who has 3,500 followers on Youtube and talks about having Aspergers; David Bartram, co-author of the SEND Review Guide, who was awarded an OBE for services to Special Educational Needs & Disability, and parents of children with disabilities and special needs.