What you might like to know if you have a child with a physical disability
The definition of a physical disability
A physical disability is defined as a “limitation on a person's physical functioning, mobility, dexterity or stamina” that has a 'substantial' and 'long-term' negative effect on an individual’s ability to do normal daily activities. (Equality Act,2010).
Wokingham Borough Council services
You might be able to get help and support from us, to find out how to request an assessment and the eligibility criteria go to the assessment for children with a disability web page
Disabled Facilities Grant
You may be able to get a grant from us if you need to make changes to your home, for example to:
- Widen doors and install ramps
- Improve access to rooms and facilities - eg stairlifts or a downstairs bathroom
- Provide a heating system suitable for your needs
- Adapt heating or lighting controls to make them easier to use
Go to our Specialist equipment and home adaptations web page for eligibility criteria and how to apply.
Short breaks and respite
Short breaks provide children and young people with disabilities opportunities to spend time away from their parents and carers, relaxing and having fun with their friends
They also provide families with a break from their caring responsibilities and give parent and carers a chance to unwind, spend time with their other children or take part in leisure or training activities.
Go to our short breaks and respite web page to find out if you’re eligible and how to apply for an assessment.
Children with Additional needs Network and CAN card
The Children with Additional needs Network and CAN card is an information and support service for children and young people with additional needs and their families. Joining is free and means you'll be sent a regular newsletter which gives you information about what's happening locally, activities and consultations.
Children and young people with a diagnosed condition will also be able to get a Children with Additional Needs Network card. This gives some concessions at many local attractions in and around Berkshire.
Go to the Children with Additional needs Network and CAN card web page for further information and to download a CAN network application form.
Does my child need an Education, Health and Care Plan for them to get the support they need?
A child who has a physical disability does not automatically require an Education, Health and Care Plan in order to receive the support they need.
All educational settings are required to follow the SEND Code of Practice to meet the needs of children with special educational needs and disabilities. However if the educational setting has taken 'relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and meet the special educational needs of the child, the child has not made expected progress, the setting should consider requesting an Education, Health and Care needs assessment' (SEND Code of Practice 2015).
If you feel your child needs more support than they are currently receiving to meet their expected progress you can ask us to carry out an Education Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment. For further information go to our Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment web page.
The Special Educational Needs and Disability Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) provide free, confidential, impartial advice, guidance and support on education matters for children and young people up to the age of 25 with special educational needs and disabilities.
How can I find a school that meets my child's needs?
Every school must publish information about how it supports children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities - this is known as its Local Offer.
Read a school’s Local Offer information via their directory listing. The Local Offer information should cover:
- How the school identify children and young people with special educational and disabilities
- What provision the school make for children or young people with special educational needs and disabilities
- How the school adapt the curriculum for children or young people with special educational needs and disabilities
- How targets are set, supported and reviewed to help a child progress
- How the school staff monitor the progress of a child
- How the school ensure a successful transition between nursery and school, primary school and secondary school and between the different school stages
- What other professionals the school work with to support children with a physical disability
- How information is communicated to parents and carers
Each schools website will have an annual Special Educational Needs (SEN) information report.
When choosing a school for your child it is important to visit by either making an appointment or attending an open day. Find out who the schools Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) is and arrange to speak with them.
Schools which have been adapted
The following schools in the Wokingham borough have been adapted to provide support for children and young people with moderate to severe physical disabilities:
These are known as extra resource schools.
Activities for a child with a physical disability
The EveryBody Moves website allows you to search for local sports clubs, activities and events for people with physical disabilities.
The Thames Valley Vikings club is for children and young people with a physical disability who are in a wheelchair and are able to self-propel and manoeuvre their chair.
For information on how to join go to the Berkshire wheelchair basketball website.
The Berkshire Bantams (U16) and Berkshire Banshees club is open to children from the age of 12+ who have a physical impairment. Club members don't have to be in a wheelchair to take part.
For further information visit the Berkshire Banshees website.
Mainstream leisure and activities
For a listing of mainstream leisure activities please go to our:
Support to attend mainstream activities and clubs
The Me2 Club enables children and young people with additional needs and disabilities, aged 5 - 19 to attend mainstream activity clubs. For further information, visit the Me2 Club website.
Specialist clubs, activities and events
The council run term time sports sessions for children and young people to improve help hand and eye coordination, balance, toning muscles and flexibility. For details of the sports on offer go to the sports and leisure teams directory listing.
Building for the Future run a Saturday club for children with down's syndrome and/or physical disabilities. For further details visit the Building for the Future website.
CEA Card - enables a disabled cinema guest to receive a complimentary ticket
A CEA Card entitles the card holder to 1 free ticket for someone, to accompany a child aged 8 and older who has a disability, to see a film at a cinema. Visit the CEA Card website to find out how to apply, the eligibility criteria, cost of a card, and which cinemas are participating.
Inclusive play park
The Sol Joel park play area offers a range of equipment for children with a physical disability and has been awarded the Plan Inclusive Play Area (PiPA) accreditation.
For details of equipment and location go to the Sol Joel Park directory listing.
Dinton Pastures country park play area has been designed to be non-prescriptive and to connect children with nature. The emphasis is on tactile and sensory play and there are many design features that have been thought through to increase access to the play features.
Visit the Dinton Pastures Country Park website for more information.
California play park including water play, tree houses, woodland adventure trail, sensory garden and inclusive sensory equipment.
Visit the Dinton Pastures Country Park website for more information.
Elms Field play area equipment has been designed with specialist input to ensure Plan Inclusive Play Areas (PiPA) accessible play area standards.
Holiday scheme for those children and young people who can't access mainstream holiday clubs
The Thumbs Up Club is for children age 3 to 19 who are unable to access mainstream settings. They run an holiday schemes during Easter and Summer and an after school club for Addington school pupils .
For further information and to book a space visit the Thumbs Up Club website.
Short Breaks Service
If you receive a Direct Payment you can use this to pay for short break services that meet the agreed outcomes for your child.
Go to our short breaks web page to find a short break service.
Local Offer directory
For more local clubs, activities, soft play centres and events for children and young people with a physical disability go to the Local Offer directory and search the leisure and activities category
My child has a learning disability as well as a physical disability
If your child has a learning disability as well as a physical disability please also see our learning disabilities web page.
Sign up to receive regular information about groups and activities
Sign up to the CAN Network (A Wokingham Borough Council information services for families of a child and/or young person with an additional need) to receive regular information about groups and activities in the Wokingham Borough and surrounding area. You can also apply for a CAN card which can be used as proof of additional need and may lead to concessions at a range of local organisations.
Go to the Children with Additional needs Network web page to find out how to join the CAN Network.
Support for carers
Dingley's Promise provides specialist support to under 5s with special educational needs and disabilities and their families. This is done through:
- Providing specialist learning through play
- Family support and training
- Advice to mainstream settings
Visit the Dingley website to find out more
Building for the Future
Building for the Future based in the Wokingham Borough provides activities and support for children with additional needs and their families. Go to the Building for the Future website for further information.
SEND Voices Wokingham
SEND Voices Wokingham is an independent group of parent carers of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). We act as a collective voice to represent all parents of children and young people up to the age of 25 with any SEND in the Wokingham Borough.
To find out more about SEND Voices, join their mailing list, or attend a coffee morning visit the SEND Voices Wokingham website.
SEND Local Offer directory
Search the SEND Local Offer directory for further support services and groups for parents of children with a physical disability.
Health information and support
Find health information, advice and support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and their families on our:
Support and information for young people
The following section of the Local Offer website provide information on where to find help and support for young people age 14 to 25 with special educational needs and/or disabilities.
Employment Support Service
The Optalis Supported Employment Service provides a friendly and confidential employment support service for young people with special educational needs and disability and those transitioning from education into employment.
Further support services and groups for young people with a physical impairment and their families can be found by searching the SEND Local Offer directory.
Benefits you maybe entitled to
Find out what benefits might be available to you and your family by using an online benefit calculator:
Visit the GOV.UK website for information on benefits and how to apply for them.
Information on travel and transport
Go to our free bus pass for disabled residents web page to find out who is eligible and how to apply.
Readibus is a dial-a-ride bus service offering transport for people with restricted mobility. Visit the Readibus website for further information and to register for the service.
Find out about railcards for disabled children and young people by going to our railcards for disabled people web page.
Travelling by air
For information on support at local airports for passengers needing special assistant visit the following websites:
Travelling by car
The Motability Scheme enables anyone in receipt of a higher rate mobility allowance to use their allowance to lease a car, scooter, powered wheelchair or wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV). For further information go to the Motability website.
For consumer reports and articles on specialist cars and equipment go to the Research Institute for Disabled Consumers (RiDC) website.
Search the equipment category of our SEND Local Offer directory to find companies who sell specialist car seats.
Learning to drive
There are organisations who provide advice and support for people with physical disabilities. Visit the following website to find a specialist driving instructors and advice and information:
- Driving mobility
- Disability driving instructors
- No gears - Automatic driving tuition
- Queen Elizabeth's Foundation for disabled people – Mobility service
Local transport and travel
For local transport and travel information:
Legal rights information
Special Educational Needs and Disability Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) is a statutory service, which is run at ‘arm’s length’ from the Special Educational Needs decision makers at Wokingham Borough Council. It provides free, confidential, impartial advice, guidance and support to:
- Parents of children and young people up to the age of 25 with special educational needs and disabilities
- Young people up to the age of 25 with special educational needs and disabilities
- Parents with initial concerns about their child through to those with an Education, Health and Care Plan
The Independent Provider Special Education Advice (IPSEA) offers free and independent legally based information, advice and support to help get the right education for children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities.
Visit the IPSEA website for useful factsheets on the rights of parents of a child with SEND, model letters and how to access their advice and tribunal helplines.
Irwin Mitchell and its partners have produced a series of factsheets and template letters which provide information for parents on the Children and Families Act 2014. Go to the Irwin Mitchell website download these factsheets.
Search the Local Offer directory for further educational support services for children and young people with physical disabilities and their families.
Information on disabled access and facilities?
Getting out and about
Visit the following websites for information around disabled access and facilities including wheelchair friendly venues.
- AccessAble - your accessibility guide
- Accessible planet
- Euan's Guide - Disabled Access Reviews
- Tourism for All
Other helpful websites can be found by searching the Local Offer directory.
Changing Places toilets provide more space than a standard accessible toilet have the right equipment to ensure the toilet can be used safely and comfortably. Equipment includes a height adjustable changing bench and a hoist system.
To find a changing places toilet whether you are close to home or travelling across Britain go to the changing places website and use their toilet map to search your location.
National key scheme
The RADAR key gives people with a physical disabilities access to the National Key Scheme public toilets around the country. Toilets fitted with the system can be unlocked using the key. To find out how to purchase a key go to the national key scheme directory listing.
Priority Services Register
Utility suppliers offers a priority service to customers who find themselves in vulnerable circumstances. For more information on who can register and the help you can get through the service visit the Ofgem website.
Free safe and well check
The Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service offers a free safe and well visit to eligible people. This service identifies potential fire risks in the home and gives advice on how to reduce or prevent them, and includes the installation of free smoke alarms where necessary.
For information on the eligibility criteria and to book, a safe and well visit go to the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service website.
Safer places schemes and cards
The Safer Places scheme has been set up to help people who are feeling vulnerable or scared when out and about in the Wokingham Borough. The Police and other local organisations support it.
For more information on the scheme and to find out how to register for a card go to the safer places directory listing.