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The Outreach Service is a freely available service to support schools and parents of children with physical disabilities. We offer onsite visits, assessments, equipment loans, staff training, short and long term classroom support and advice on a range of disability related issues across Primary and Secondary phases.
Issues may include:
This includes difficulties with access to school buildings, classrooms, changing rooms, swimming pools, specialist laboratories, sports areas, drama studios and residential trips advice. Co-ordinated advice can be given in liaison with Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy services.
All subjects are catered for, especially those that are practically based (e.g. PE, ICT, Art, Technology, Textiles). Pupil shadowing, classroom support, equipment loans, alternative and differentiated activities, staff training, Entry level courses, Exam access arrangements and GCSE PE assessment can all be supported.
Moving and Handling
On site assessments can be undertaken on specific issues with individual pupils or more general issues that affect groups of pupils or staff. Hoisting or lifting, transfers to and from wheelchairs, using the stairs can all be addressed. Risk Assessments can be carried out or supported. Accredited Centaur Manual Handling courses can also be run for support staff by Penn Hall Key Trainers.
Penn Hall has a wide range of adapted equipment that can be viewed in action (e.g. adjustable height tables) or even loaned in the short term. Information, prices and general advice based on experience can also be given.
Penn Hall staff with experience of Access and Communication issues, alongside Speech and Language specialists can offer advice and support for pupils who have communication difficulties. Several staff are members of Wolverhampton’s Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) working group.
Transition from Primary to Secondary
The Outreach Service is keen to support the smooth transition of pupils to Secondary education. We can support or shadow pupils on ‘taster days’ to identify problems and barriers at a very early stage. In liaison with other support services we can anticipate potential problems and suggest solutions.
Staff have a broad range of experience and expertise in this area and can often offer practical solutions to problems arising around the intimate care of disabled pupils.
We have well established links with Community Transport and Ring and Ride. We also have a vast range of experience that can be drawn upon in using wheelchair accessible vehicles.
An increasing number of pupils have difficulties with recording their work (due to dyspraxia, dyslexia, problems with fine motor control, etc). We can provide demonstrations, short term loans, staff training and assessment with a range of adapted ICT equipment suitable for all ages.
Disability Awareness Assemblies and Workshops
Disability Assemblies and follow up workshops have proved extremely popular in schools over the last few years. Thousands of Wolverhampton children have enjoyed thought provoking presentations that focus on ‘ability’ rather than disability. Practical workshops offer opportunities to experience using a wheelchair in a fun and positive way. Question and answer sessions provide children with the chance to ask a range of questions that build their disability awareness and understanding of how this impacts on society. These have a positive effect in creating an inclusive environment.
Outreach parents are invited to Penn Hall coffee mornings to network and gain access to information and resources.
Any Inclusion issue/concern
We would be happy to discuss any inclusion related issue or concern and can respond promptly to most referrals. Attendance at Annual Reviews, following support, can also be arranged.
The Outreach Service enjoys well established relationships with other agencies (Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Speech & Language Therapy) and can provide coordinated, effective and sustainable support.