Complete our website satisfaction survey, and let us know what you think of our website!
Find out more... (opens in new window)

Useful links for working with disabled children and young people

An extensive list of links to resources available online for those working with children and young people with disabilities.

This page provides links to a range of organisations and resources that may be useful to you in providing information, support and guidance when working with children and young people with disabilities.

If you know of an organisation that is not listed on this page, please send the details to stating clearly that it is for inclusion on the ‘CWDC children and young people with disabilities web section'.

The Children's Workforce Development Council does not endorse the websites or organisations listed above, nor does it quality assure the information or provision on the sites.

Web portals and directories

There are a number of portals that are useful for providing access to a wide range of information, advice and guidance on working with children and young people with disabilities:

Council for Disabled Children -
Provides information, publications and networking opportunities. It also hosts the Every Disabled Child Matters campaign.

Directgov -
The one stop shop to public services and public sector organisation. Includes a section on education and training for people with disabilities and for carers.

Department of Education -
This section of the department's website contains information and resources to support the provision of services to children and young people with special educational needs and disability.

Early Support programme -
Provides information, advice and training on meeting the needs of young children with disabilities.

Mental Health Foundation -
It is the UK’s leading mental health research, policy and service improvement charity. This site has news and information on a wide range of events, organisations and websites for people with learning disabilities.


Provides free on-line information on all accredited qualifications and units and awarding bodies.

The awarding bodies themselves provide information on their qualifications and the units they comprise plus the centres that offer their qualifications. The main awarding bodies for the children's workforce in England are:


City and Guilds -

Edexcel's health, social care pages -

EDI - 
Education Development International PLC


OU -
Open University

Organisations that provide information on training for practitioners and professionals

There are a number of websites and organisations that can help you find training opportunities on various aspects of working with children and young people with disabilities. These include:

Early Support -
Offers a range of training for everyone who supports young disabled children. The range of courses offered is developing rapidly. It includes accredited courses, shorter non-accredited courses and distance learning. Provides details and samples of courses to download.

Learn Direct -
Provides a similar service to Directgov. Learn Direct can help you find a course that fits around your lifestyle, learning that is available through the internet or in one of our national network of learndirect.

Local Authorities - addresses will vary.
Many local authorities now have a portal that includes details of their provision for children and young people including local training opportunities such as working with children and young people who have special needs. If you do not already know your local authority's web address, searching by its name will lead you to it. 
They work with people with learning disabilities to change laws and services, challenge prejudice and directly support thousands of people to live their lives as they choose.

Skills Funding Agency -  
They are an agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and their job is to fund and regulate adult further education and skills training in England.

Valuing People Support Team -
This site provides good links to other sources of information about a range of issues and special focus work e.g. about children, families, transition, communication etc. It also advertises conferences and regional events which help to "make valuing people happen".

Young People's Learning
This agency is sponsored by the Department for Education and exists to support the delivery of training and education to all 16 – 19 year olds in England.

Organisations that provide training and resources for professionals working with children and young people with disabilities

There are a wide range of organisations that provide training and resources for professionals working with children and young people with disabilities. Listed below are some of them.

4 Children -
Supports innovative children's services including children's centres with information, advice and training.

AbilityNet -
This is a national charity helping disabled adults and children use computers and the internet by adapting and adjusting their technology.

Action for Children -
Action for Children supports and speaks out for the UK's most vulnerable and neglected children and young people, for as long as it takes to make a difference in their lives.

Action on Hearing Loss -
Action on Hearing Loss is the new name for RNID. They are working for a world where hearing loss doesn’t limit or label people, where tinnitus is silenced and where people value and look after their hearing. The site contains information, research and training details for professionals, for example on sign language.

Ambitious about Autism -
Ambitious about Autism is the national charity for children and young people with autism. They provide services, raise awareness and understanding, and influence policy. They exist to enable children and young people with autism to learn, thrive and achieve. Through TreeHouse School they provide specialist education.

Asian People's Disabilities Alliance -
Providing care and peer support to Asian people with disabilities and their carers.

Association for Real Change (ARC) -
ARC is an umbrella organisation that supports providers of services for people with learning disabilities. It also provides and supports training for workers and managers, and manages national projects around specific topics e.g. ethnicity and learning disability.

Barnados -
Provides training and consultancy services on a regional basis including general courses on protecting and communicating with disabled children and specific courses on dealing with a number of particular issues.

British Institute of Learning Disability (BILD) -
BILD is involved with policy and research about aspects of learning disability and empowerment. It provides training and support for support organisations and has a lead role in issues such as challenging behaviour and physical interventions.

British Sign Language -
Offers information, resources and an on-line course to help you learn British Sign Language.

British Stammering Association -
Bristish Stammering Association is a national organisation for adults and children, run by people who stammer. They provide information on different types of therapy, links to useful websites and new research and technology.

CandLE -
CandLE is a communication aid centre which supports communication and learning needs of children and adults who need Alternative and Augmentative Communication and Assistive Technology.

Children England -
Children England is a membership organisation for the children, young people and families voluntary sector. They aim to create a fairer world for children, young people and families by championing the voluntary organisations which work on their behalf.

Community Care magazine -
Community Care's site has a comprehensive guide to purchase a wide range of services in the social care field.

Down's Syndrome Association -
Provides information about Down's Syndrome, resource lists and publications, training events and conferences.

Early Years Equality -
An organisation working to promote race equality and other equalities in early years provision. The site has publications and links to other sites.

Epilepsy Action -
Provides information, research, links to local organisations and runs a helpline. The site has information for professionals, parents and young people.

Equal Ability -
A community interest company providing training and consultancy services on disability.

Foundation for Assistive Technology -
Has information on courses, publications and research and development in the Assistive Technology field - products and services designed to promote independence for children and young people with disabilities.

Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities -
This is part of the Mental Health Foundation but has the distinct focus of learning disability. It carries out projects and research and supports others to make practical improvements in the lives of people with learning disabilities. It has a lead role on for example, learning disability and mental health.

Fragile X -
Runs an information service on Fragile X, the most common cause of inherited learning disabilities.

In Control -
A major initiative set up to establish and promote self-directed support by people with learning disabilities. It is at the forefront of implementing new ways of working to support people with learning disabilities

Learning Disability and Ethnicity Network -
Includes lists of resources, publications and conferences on the subject.

National Association for Special Educational Needs -
An umbrella organisation for education settings.

National Association of Toy and Leisure Libraries -
Also campaigns under the banner Play Matters. NATLL has a range of publications and training courses and runs a help-line for people setting up toy and leisure libraries.

National Autistic Society -
Provides information and resources on Autism.

National Blind Children's Society -
Information and resources including information on equipment and large print books.

National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy -
Provides education, rehabilitation and treatment for young people with complex epilepsy and other neurological problems. The organisation runs a help line and its site contains research and advice for professionals and parents.

National Childminding Association (NCMA) -
Provides information, advice and training opportunities for home based childcare

National Children's Bureau -
NCB has a well stocked library and information service on children's issues and provides training and consultancy services, including a range of specific courses on disability issues.

National Day Nurseries Associations (NDNA) -
A membership organisation offering support services including training and advice to its members.

National Deaf Children's Society -
Provides information and support, including particular information on hearing aids.

National Development Team for Inclusion -
Works to improve policies and services relating to people with learning disabilities, and to improve understanding about related issues through projects, training and consultancy.

National Extension College -
NEC has a range of distance learning courses which includes a module on working with children and young people with special needs as part of their continuous professional development resources

National Parent Partnership Network -
An organisation supporting and enabling parents and carers of children with special educational needs. The site provides information on local partnerships and services.

Norwood -
Norwood provides vital support to thousands of people with learning disabilities, and children and families in need, helping them to improve the quality of their lives and achieve their goals.

Office for Advice, Assistance, Support and Information on Special Needs (OAASIS) -
OAASIS provides a free information and support service for parents, teachers and other professionals with an interest in special education for children and young adults.

Organisation of Blind African and Caribbeans -
Provides support and advice services and is a registered training centre.

Paradigm -
Provides consultancy, training, conferences and publications particularly aiming to improve inclusion of people with learning disabilities. It is involved in specific projects about children/young people with learning disabilities and has useful links to articles on the subject.

Parents for Inclusion -
Promotes inclusion for children with disabilities in all settings.

People First -
A user-led organisation that campaigns to help people with learning disabilities to be heard at national and local level. It provides training and consultancy on this topic.

PMLD Network -
The PMLD Network is a group of people committed to improving the lives of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD).

Prader-Willi Syndrome Association -
Provides guidance for professionals, training events and conferences on the Prader Willi Syndrome.

Pre-school Learning Alliance -
An educational charity specialising in the early years that provides information, advice and training opportunities.

Royal National Institute for the Blind -
A site supporting blind and partially sighted people and includes information, advice and training opportunities.

Scope -
This site has information, answers FAQ and provides downloads on the different aspects of cerebral palsy.

This site has information, advice and research for professionals working with deaf-blind people in a number of different professional capacities.

Social Care Information and Learning Services -
Provides a wide range of learning and development solutions for staff throughout social care, health and children & young people's services including on-line courses.

Special Abilities -
Provides information and training for families of children with disabilities.

Tardive Dyskinesia -
Provides information on Tardive Dyskinesia

Tuberous Sclerosis Association -
Provides information and fact sheets on tuberous sclerosis

Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG) -
An umbrella group of disability organisation providing information and advice on current issues.

Publications that list training opportunities

There are a number of publications that provide details of training opportunities.

Children & Young People
Provides news and information on a wide range of issues including a guide to careers in children's and young people's services, a guide to courses and training and information on jobs.

Nursery World -
Provides an information site containing advice for new entrants and existing professionals on training and lists training opportunities and conferences on a month by month basis. The site requires you to register but it is very simple to do so. Once on the site, the search function enables you to search for courses for example on ‘children with special needs'. Nursery World also produces an annual guide to childcare qualifications in June each year.

Specialist research centres

The following centres publish research that helps to move forward thinking and practice, particularly about how people with learning disabilities can have more meaningful control over their lives.

Institute for Health Research, University of Lancaster -

Norah Fry Research Centre, University of Bristol -

Tizard Centre, University of Kent -

The Children's Workforce Development Council does not endorse the websites or organisations listed above, nor does it quality assure the information or provision on the sites.

Page updated: 19 September 2011

Download Adobe PDF Reader

acrobat icon

Recent news

New editable foster care workbook and guidance online now 20 October
CWDC's new editable foster care workbook and guidance can be downloaded now from our website.

© Children’s Workforce Development Council 2012  |  Part of the Sector Skills Council, Skills for Care and Development.
Registered in England. Registered Company 05409076. Registered Office: 2nd Floor, City Exchange, 11 Albion Street, Leeds, LS1 5ES.
VAT Registration Number: 895 1089 87

A new UK Government took office on 11 May. As a result the content on this site may not reflect current Government policy.
All statutory guidance and legislation published on this site continues to reflect the current legal position unless indicated otherwise.