Young people led Challenge Board brings strategic coproduction to SEND!
Changing Our Lives is supporting young people to lead a new Challenge Board. This board is made up of young people from all walks of life. All of the young people have been labelled as ‘disabled’ or ‘special needs’ but reject these labels:
‘It’s not good always thinking, ‘I am special needs’. I need to make the most of my life.’
‘I used to think about having difficulties or special needs, but it depressed me. I blank it out now and get on with my life.’
‘I don’t think about having a learning difficulty, I think I can go as far as I want. I can do anything I want to do.’
‘Doesn’t matter what disability you have you can live in your own home and get a job.’
In each area around the country there are Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Boards. These boards have been set up because the government wants to make sure that young disabled people and young people who have been told they have Special Educational Needs, have good lives. The young people led Challenge Board will be working alongside the Sandwell SEND Board, holding them to account, making sure that young people have equal life chances which includes: :
– Having a good education that leads to paid work
– Choosing where I live and living independently when I get older
– Being healthy so I can live a full life
– Having friends and relationships
– Making my own decisions, learning for myself and making mistakes
The Challenge Board is currently being trained in leadership skills and human rights. In March and April they will be writing the first in a series of ‘white papers’ which set out their expectations for their own lives and how local services can support them. The first white paper will be on the topic of paid work.