In this issue:  

BSL Chat Club - for all ages

If you're looking for somewhere to practice your British Sign Language skills, why not pop into BSL Chat Club, run by the Phoenix Group?Phoenix logo

You can practice your skills in a relaxed and friendly environment whilst enjoying coffee and cake!

The Chat Club takes place every Wednesday from 10.30am - 12pm at the Trestle Theatre Company, St Albans

Visit the Phoenix Group website to find out more about the BSL Chat Club

Hi VIS Fortnight - giant print picture books for young children

Hi VIS Fortnight, which takes place from 6 - 19 June, celebrates the wonderful world of accessible reading. Picture Books featuring Giant Print and Braille are now available in a number of Hertfordshire libraries. The books have been adapted from popular picture books byGiant print books Access2Books, and feature 75 point print, enlarged images and grade 2 Braille. There are over 40 titles available, including well loved classics such as ‘The Tiger Who Came for Tea’ and ‘The Gruffalo’. The format of these books makes them suitable for adults with a visual impairment to share with a sighted child, as well as for children with a visual impairment.
The books are currently stocked in: Bishops Stortford, Hemel Hempstead, Stevenage, St Albans, Watford and Welwyn Garden City. You can also reserve copies free of charge to collect at your local library.  


Supported Employment for ages 18+

Step2Skills is delighted to announce a new Inclusive Employment project  - to help unemployed Hertfordshire residents with learning and physical disabilities, mental health issues, sensory needs and neurodiversity into employment, education or training.

In addition to what was previously offered within the Supported Employment programme, you can now directly apply or refer someone to the programme who has a learning or physical disability, sensory needs, mental health conditions or neurodiversity, who is looking to enter employment, education or training. The applicant must be over 18, a resident in Hertfordshire and must be unemployed or economically inactive.

Additional support will be given to those who need guidance on being work ready e.g CV writing and interview skills.  If the participant is ready to go straight to work, they’ll be assigned to a job coach, who will work with them to help find work. A job coach can help by:

  • Building confidence
  • Checking money and benefitsStep2Skills logo
  • Helping to recognise skills, abilities and the best job match for the participant
  • Writing a CV and preparing for interviews
  • Searching and applying for jobs with the participant
  • Setting up unpaid ‘work tasters’ with employers to help the participant decide what they want to do
  • Talking to employers on their behalf if needed and giving advice on disability issues
  • Getting funding for equipment and/or support in the workplace or for travel to work through the Access to Work Scheme
  • Offering support to both the participant and their employer to settle into the role or with any extra training or guidance they may require in the workplace.

The project is open for direct and referral applications now and these can be made via the Hertfordshire Inclusive Employment. If you wish to talk to someone, please call 01438 843509.

SRP primary aged consultations 

We are developing a countywide pattern of Specialist Resource Provisions (SRPs) in mainstream primary schools to meet the needs of children and young people with social communication difficulties, including autism, in addition to children with severe speech disorders and developmental language disorder (DLD).

Children and young people with developmental language disorder and severe speech motor disorders are currently provided for by a pattern of Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) bases attached to mainstream schools. The SRPs will replace the SLCN bases and extend the offer for children with speech and language difficulties. They will also meet the needs of children who have a broader level of need of social communication, including autism.

Phase 1 of the proposal will provide 4 secondary aged SRPs, each offering 20 places. We are now consulting you on phase 2 of the proposal, to deliver 9 SRPs within the primary sector, each offering 12 places.

You can respond to the consultation for the individual primary schools involved, and the deadline for responses is 4 July 2022.

SEND Tribunal update from IPSEA

Some parents and carers may already be aware of the backlog issues that the SEND Tribunal are currently facing. As at May 2022, the Tribunal will be prioritising cases which involve a phase transfer and/or where the child/young person is out of education. Make sure to notify the Tribunal if your appeal involves either of these scenarios. If this applies to you, IPSEA has issued a helpful update for families on their website.

Read the IPSEA update on SEND Tribunals


View all events

SPACE - Online Check in and Chat - 'Transitions' with Charley Crowe

Charley will be talking through phase transfers - which will be particularly beneficial to anyone whose child is about to transfer from one educational setting to another, including primary to secondary and secondary to college and will be hosting a Q&A.

Wednesday 15 June 7 - 8pm

Parent/carer wellbeing event - Autism Hertfordshire / Carers in HertsParent/carer wellbeing event poster

For parents/carers of autistic people aged 16+ to explore their own wellbeing. At this event run in conjunction with Autism Hertfordshire, there will be taster workshops on mindfulness, yoga, arts and crafts, as well as information stalls and refreshments. 

Friday 8 July 1pm - 4pm at Welwyn Civic Centre

Supported Employment Fair - Broxbourne

Supported Employment Job Fair - Aimed towards people with Learning and physical disabilities, sensory needs, neurodiversity and mental health conditions.

Friday 1 July 10am-12pm and 1-3pm, Civic Hall Hoddesdon