25 June, 2009


Accessing Support and Services

The amount of support to which you are entitled to may depend on the severity of difficulty or degree of disability you or your child experiences. If you feel that you or your child may have a special need or difficulty, you may wish to discuss your feelings with your health visitor or GP. They will then be able to guide you through any required tests or assessments that will determine any specific difficulties. Once you have received a clear assessment you will be more informed regarding what services or support you and your child require.

The extent of the support or services available is likely to depend on local provision. Whether you or your child needs Education Services or Medical Services, or you as a family require Respite or Childcare, the service available will come from the Local Authority, such as Social Services or the Local Education Authority, or local NHS Trust. Actively seeking support is your prerogative.

hand holding pencil, notebook

Health and Social Care Assessment
Assessments of health and social care are primarily organised by the social services department for your local authority. Any recommendations or finding should indicate which of your needs are most important and include an evaluation of risk should the help not be forthcoming.

If necessary, health and social services will develop a combined package of support. This will be written within a care plan and be completed in partnership with you, including your opinions and feelings regarding your proposed care. If you need extra services, such as benefits advice or housing assistance, your social worker will put you in contact or liaise with the appropriate agencies.

Services that may be available may include...

  • equipment and adaptations to your home
  • home care help for such things as cleaning and shopping
  • day care for your child if either you or they are disabled
  • day centres to give you, or the person who cares for you, a break
  • residential care

You can register yourself or your child as a disabled person with your local council, as they are required to retain a register of all disabled people living in their area. This register is aimed at aiding them in planning and allocating local resources, and can aid you in gaining cecessions, such as reduces fare on public transport.

website Web site: Find your Council

website Web site: Benefits Agency - Disability Pages

website Web site: Time To Get Equal - Countering Discrimination

Problems with Access
You have probably experienced difficulties as a result of how your disability affects you. Most of these problems are likely to be as a result of your environment and those around you rather than any physical or mental limitation you experience. This is often due to our environments being geared to "able" people, even though there are 10 million people in Britain affected by disability today.

From 1999 the Disability Discrimination Act required service providers to consider making "reasonable adjustments" to enable disabled people to access to their provision.

In October 2004 service providers were required to take reasonable steps to overcome any physical limitations to their properties, such as narrow doors or steps that may prevent disabled people from entering, or obstruct their ease of access. Part 3 of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) provides disabled people important rights of access to both statutory and consumer services. These may include access to council offices, GP Surgeries, banks, restaurants or churches. Purely private services that are not available to the public, such as private clubs, continue to be excempt.

Disablities Rights Commission (DRC)
The DRC provide advice and support to anyone disciminated against because of disability, helping you secure and uphold your civil rights.

website Web site: Disability Rights Commission - Countering Discrimination

website Web site: One for Us - For People with Disabilities

There is a wide choice of resources available if you feel that you would like support whilst you or your child undergoes an assessment. Additionally, there are numerous localised support groups that you can access wherever you are. There are also nationally based organisations that may be suited to providing you with information and advice, as well as the support Naval families can gain from NPFS and RM Welfare.

info More Information: Support Services & Support Groups

info More Information: Naval Charities

info More Information: Financial

info More Information: NPFS & RM Welfare

info More Information: RNcom Help Desk

website Web site: Benefits Agency - Disability Pages

website Web site: Time To Get Equal - Countering Discrimination

website Web site: The National Association for Special Educational Needs

website Web site: Disabled Parents Network

website Web site: Family Fund - For Families with Children with Disabilities


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