12 May 2009

A Children's Society project has received a prestigious national award for its work in producing a DVD aimed at making schools more inclusive for disabled children. 

The Time4Change group, part of The Children's Society’s PACT project, based in York, were presented with the prestigious CHANGEit award from Common Purpose and Deutsche Bank at a ceremony in Central London. The project, comprising disabled young people aged 13-18 with varying special needs, was recognised in the ‘Performance’ category for their work in producing a DVD to help school become more inclusive.

The DVD was inspired by the young people’s belief that a few small, simple and inexpensive changes could make a world of difference to disabled children and young people.

The CHANGEit awards are designed to recognise, support and reward young people who have spoken up and taken constructive action about something they want to be improved, changed or created in their community.

The DVD has so far been sent to 70 schools nationwide. It will help Head Teachers to identify barriers for disabled pupils and look at ways of improving the situation by consulting local disabled people (a requirement of the Disability Equality Duty). The project has been so successful that many more schools are waiting for a re-print of the DVD and booklet.

Sarah Wild, Project Worker at PACT, commented: “This award means the world to the young people who have spent the past year working on the project. The award is a testament to the determination of disabled young people to bring about positive change. So often disabled people are portrayed in our society as needy and dependent, but this recognition demonstrates that disabled young people can contribute to our society, not only as equals but also as campaigners”.