Devon’s young people ask for their voices to be heard

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Posted on: 7 December 2018

Young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in Devon have been working on a film that encourages young people to have their voices heard, not ignored.

It calls on young people to step up and say what their lives need.

And that decisions, especially ones that affect a young person’s life, should be made by that young person and their parents, rather than by others.

Young people from schools across Devon have devised the video message, #ListenHearUnderstand, which they hope will go viral on Youtube.

Liz Nash, Senior Children’s Social Care Change Manager, said

“We know that children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities are a seldom heard group. We want young people and workers to see the film as a call to action. Workers need to ask young people about decisions which affect them, be able to listen to them in different ways, then show that they understand. Children and young people need to know that they have a right to be listened to, heard and understood.”

Mel Webb, SEND Local Offer and Participation Officer said:

“Young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities have been working on this film since summer 2018. They wanted to get the message across to other children and young people with special needs, and people who work with them, that voices should be heard, not ignored.

“They worked with a specialist film maker to develop what they wanted to say and turn it into a film. The young people hope the film will go viral and encourage all children and young people to get their voices heard and become champions for change.”

The young people kicked off a launch event last month with representatives from Education, Health and Social Care. After watching the film, practitioners were asked to make a promise to children and young people they work with. The postcard pledges will be reviewed by children and young people in the new year then sent back to organisations as a reminder.

1 comment on “Devon’s young people ask for their voices to be heard

  1. Lynne Palmer-Mann says:

    This is a really good video and reminder to keep children and young people involved in services that affect them, thank you.

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