There are many ways we can support people with disabilities when it is time for you to leave school.
Support for disabled people leaving school
It's important to have plenty of time to think about your future and find out what you can do. You may want to think about going to college, getting a job, going to a day service, or getting involved in community activities. A careers adviser can help you to start thinking about all these things.
Some young people will need extra support to think and plan. This starts in year 9. Your teacher or SENCO will talk to you about some of the people who can help. These may be:
- an inclusion worker
- a social worker
- a health worker
These people will talk to you and your family or carer about the support you need. This is called an assessment.
Making a transition plan
In year 9, when you are 14, your parents or carers, the school, and anyone else important to you, will all work together to create a plan. This is called a transition review or a transition planning meeting.
This meeting is where you can tell everyone about what you want to do. You will be thinking about things such as what you're good at, your hopes and dreams, new things you want to try and the help you may need.
Using your ideas and other people's ideas a transition plan is made. It's important to know that this is just the beginning and that it is okay to change your mind.
Your transition is all about you and what you want and need.
Your plan should include important things like:
- how I communicate
- keeping safe and healthy
- me and my family
- school and college
- transport and travel
- having fun
- jobs, education and day time activities
You and your parents and carers should have a copy of your transition plan. You will have a review every year that you stay at school to update your plan.
Your head teacher will arrange your review. Before this meeting you need to think about what is working well, what's not working and anything you want to change in your transition plan. It's important that people know what you want.
If you need extra help when you leave school the people who will provide that support should be invited to all your reviews.
Some young people choose to leave school when they are 16 to go into working towards an apprenticeship or other qualification, or to gain employment, and some stay at school until they are 18 or 19.
The most important thing is that whenever you leave school you have a transition plan in place that you understand and is working well.
You can leave school when you are 16 and go to college or look for an apprenticeship or a job. You can choose to stay on at your school if it has a 6th form and offers the course and support you want and need.
Careers advisers can give you lots of information about college, work and training opportunities. They support young people from the age of 13 to 19 and up to the age of 25 if you have a disability.
A careers adviser will see you at school before your school review and tell you more about the options you have and what would work best for you.
Priestley College and Warrington & Vale Royal College have courses for young people. Both colleges also offer extra support to help you with your learning.
You can have visits and taster sessions arranged in your last term at school.
You may need extra support at college to help you with your learning or with personal care needs.
Some young people might need specialist support to continue in education after school. Specialist colleges offer courses during the day and some are residential.
A residential college is somewhere you live during term time. You will need an assessment from an inclusion worker or social worker and the specialist college.
Job Centre Plus
If you would like to know more about work, the job centre can help. You can talk to a disability employment adviser. Their job is to give you advice about work, the support you may need and benefits.
You might need support from a job coach. This is someone who can help you understand what your job will be and how to do it. There are two supported employment projects in Warrington that can provide you with a job coach and help you find work placements.
You can get help and advice to look at different ways of working like self employment. Warrington Disability Partnership support disabled young people from 18 years old to find employment. Our supported employment project supports young people from 16 years old to find paid employment.
If you are between 16 and 18 years old, YMCA training can offer you a learning programme which builds on your school education and can help you get ready for work.
This project is for young people between the age of 14 and 19 who may be finding school hard and are not in education, training or employment. The project runs media, music and leadership courses based in your local community.
If you are 19 or over and are interested in getting qualifications in literacy, numeracy and computers then Learn Direct may have the right course for you.
You may need help using a car, taxi or public transport like buses or trains. It is your right to have transport that is accessible, or support that helps you to travel independently.
On the move
This is an independent travel training project. It can support you to develop your confidence, knowledge and skills to use public transport.
You may be able to get a free bus pass. You can use this pass to travel free on buses but you can only travel at certain times. You will need help from your doctor or social worker to get the pass.
Fobs and orange wallets
Fobs can help you hear information about the time the next bus is arriving at the bus stop.
Orange wallets help bus drivers know that you may need help or extra time to use the bus.
Dial a ride
Some people find it harder to use public transport. Dial a ride provides buses to help people get to places they want to go. You will need to become a member and have a bus pass if you want to use dial a ride.
Some taxis are accessible for wheelchairs. If you need an accessible taxi it is always best to ring and check that it's right for you.
Low floor buses
Many buses have low floors to help getting on and off the bus easier. You can find out more about this service at the bus interchange.
Some people will need specialist transport. Your social worker will have to do an assessment to see if you need this. You will have to pay for this transport.
Assisted changing rooms
Warrington has six assisted changing rooms.
An assisted changing room has a shower, hoist, tracking and changing bed. Warrington Disability Partnership has more information on assisted changing rooms and other aids and equipment you may find helpful.
This is where you can find assisted changing rooms:
- Centre for Independent Living
- Bus interchange
- Golden Square shopping centre
- Bath Street Health and Wellbeing Centre
- Orford Jubilee Neighbourhood Hub
- Great Sankey Neighbourhood Hub
This section is all about different housing options and the support you might need. Some housing options depend on your age, disability and personal situations. It is your right to have the support you need to live an independent life.
If you decide to live more independently you should be thinking about where you want to live, who you want to live with, the support you may need and how it will be paid.
Getting a home can sometimes take a long time. There are rules that make sure that people who need housing the most get it quicker.
You can get a home privately. This is often quicker and with more choice, but it is more expensive.
Housingplus is a one stop shop for all your housing needs. It supports people from the age of 16.
This is accommodation for young people between the age of 16 and 25 who are homeless, have housing difficulties or are living somewhere where they feel unsafe.
When people get help to live in their own home it is called supported living. When you pay rent to live in your home you are called a tenant. You can have a single tenancy where you live on your own, or a shared tenancy where you live with other people. Your social worker can tell you more about the different organisations who provide supported living accommodation.
There are organisations who can help you with your tenancy. This might be supporting you to understand your tenancy agreement, pay your bills and keep safe.
Residential and nursing care
This type of housing is very different from getting support within your own home or shared accommodation. Residential or nursing care provides specialist support or specialist health care. Your social worker or inclusion worker will make an assessment to make sure it is right for you to live in a residential or nursing home.
There are different ways of getting support to live independently. Some people don't want or need a worker to help them.
Assistive technology is equipment that helps you to do daily tasks such as making a drink, running a bath or using the telephone. Technology can also help you to keep and feel safe in your home. This might be care call, fire and gas sensors, security alarms and pressure mats that detect falls or seizures.
Your social worker can tell you more about assistive technology and how it can work for you.
When you are 18 you are legally an adult and some things will change. If you get support from adult social care you will have to pay towards the cost of your support. There are rules that are used to decide who gets support. This is called fair access to care services. These rules make sure everyone is treated fairly. Your social worker can tell you more about this.
It is a good idea to open a bank account. It is your right to have your own personal bank account. Some benefits can be paid directly into your bank account.
In order to open a bank account there are two things you have to do.
- you have to be able to prove who you are. That means show the bank that you are who you say you are.
- you have to say that you are able to look after your own money. If you can't look after your own money then the law says you can ask someone to do this for you. This is called an appointee. An appointee is a very important job. It could be someone you trust like a parent or someone in authority like the council.
Disabled people can often get money from the government called benefits. Your parents and carers may be able to get money too.
There are some benefits you get only if you do not have much money. You can get other benefits because you are disabled.
You may be entitled to benefits like disability living allowance, income support and housing benefit. You can get support and advice about any of these benefits from your social worker and inclusion worker. There are also organisations who can help.
A personal budget is money from provided by us to meet your social care needs. A personal budget gives you more control and choice about the way your support and care is organised. It can help you have more choice and more of a say about who supports you, what they do and when.
You can have a personal budget in different ways:
- you can choose and organise your own support. You pay for this using a direct payment.
- you can get help from Warrington Disability Partnership. They will help you to recruit workers, organise the paper work and wages and be a good boss.
- you can choose to have us organise your support. This is called a council managed budget.
- you can also have a mixture of both. You can choose a service provider to look after your personal budget. This is called an individual service fund.
Your social worker can tell you more about buying your own care and support.
This section is about health services. It is your right to have the same health care as everyone else. For example this means being able to use your local doctors, dentists, hospitals and opticians.
When you are 18, your doctor should ask you to have a health check up. This should happen every year. It is called an annual health check. It is important that you have your check up so that your doctor can help you to stay healthy and make sure you get all the health services and support that you need.
Some of you may need a lot of support from health care professionals to keep you well. The access all areas team will help you with this. They will get in touch with you before you leave school and help you to write a health action plan. This plan will make sure you get the health care and support you need.
Specialist learning disability team
This team can help you to get support from the following people:
- community nurse
- speech and language therapist
- occupational therapists
You can get in touch with the team yourself or ask your doctor or parent to do this for you.
Children and adolescent mental health services
At some point, you may need support with your mental health. This team can support you until you are 18. They will tell you where to go for help after you are 18.
Health awareness raising project
This project helps you to learn about your body, your feelings, rights and responsibilities. You can do this by joining a men's group or a women's group. You have to be 18 or over to take part. You can find out about this project through the specialist learning disability team.
It is important that you know about and understand your rights:
- you have the right to be who you are
- you have the right to feel safe and be safe
- you have the right to be treated well and with respect
- you have the right to tell someone if anyone hurts you or makes you feel bad
- you have the right to be protected from abuse
- you have the right to speak up and tell someone if you are worried or unhappy
Sometimes problems and worries won't go away if you just ignore them or try to sort them out yourself. It's really important that if you do have a problem, or feel worried, unhappy or unsafe, that you tell someone.
You can talk to someone who you trust. This might be a parent, carer, teacher, advocate, youth worker or college tutor. It's important that whoever you speak to is someone who will listen to you, keep you safe and help you get the support you need.
Advocacy is about speaking up about what is important to you. It is about expressing your views about big decisions and everyday choices.
Advocacy is about listening to you and making sure that your rights are respected and your voice is heard. You have the right to speak up and be listened to.
There are different types of advocacy support available:
- self advocacy is about speaking up for yourself
- group advocacy is when self advocates meet together to speak up for themselves and others
- one to one advocacy is having support from an advocate to speak up for you
- IMCA - Independent Mental Capacity Advocate - is having an advocate to help you speak up when you don't have the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself.
- National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) is a national youth advocacy service that helps looked after children and young people to speak up
Warrington Speak Up is a local advocacy organisation that supports self advocacy, group advocacy and one to one advocacy.
Young people with disabilities have similar expectations to their peers when they think about their future.
As you become an adult, you expect to go to work or college, have a social life, continue your hobbies and have relationships. You should also recognise that growing up involves emotional changes, as well as making choices about how you will live your life in the future.
The transition from children’s to adults’ services requires careful planning to ensure a consistency in service that takes into account the practical, social and emotional changes in your life.
The process of transition planning to adult life starts at age 14, as part of the year 9 transition review, and can continue until the age of 25. It has to be a flexible process to meet your individual.
There are five key areas we look at when planning transition:
- Working in partnership - professionals and services will work together in order to deliver effective services and support.
- Involving you and your family - both you, and your family, will be involved in your own transition process to allow you control and ensure you get the support you need.
- Providing suitable information - information will be provided in a clear and accessible format to ensure that you and your family are aware of what should be happening at each stage and who is responsible for providing support.
- Person-centred planning - transition planning will be person-centred so that you are at the centre of any plans made to support you and that these plans are developed around your aspirations.
- Opportunities for living life - you must have the chance to live a fulfilled life with a range of opportunities involving employment, education, youth and leisure services.
It is your right to have healthy and safe friendships and relationships.
Youth Connect drop-in
The Youth Connect drop-in is a confidential teenage sexual health drop in service.
They are a team of friendly doctors, nurses and youth workers who work together to support you with relationships, sexual health and contraception. The team is based in The Gateway building on Sankey Street.
Warrington Youth Club and NSPCC
Warrington Youth Club and NSPCC run a group for girls up to 19. The group meet together to talk about what is important to them, to develop confidence and feel good about themselves. The group meets at the Peace Centre.
Find out more on our sexual health services page.
There are lots of things to do and places to go. We can't tell you everything so we have given you the contact details of groups and organisations who can tell you more.
Young Rootes Project - call 01925 246880
LiveWire leisure services
Broomfields Leisure Centre - call 01925 268768
Birchwood Leisure and Tennis Complex - call 01925 458130
Great Sankey Neighbourhood Hub - call 01925 724411
Orford Jubilee Neighbourhood Hub - call 01925 01925 572504
Woolston Neighbourhood Hub - call 01925 813939