Do you see me? Reflecting on Learning Disability Week

Questions for Discussion

We’re in the middle of Learning Disability Week 2024 with the theme “Do you see me?”. The CENMAC team has been reflecting on some discussion questions suggested by Mencap.

Do you see me?

Do you understand me?

Do you hear me?

Do you include me?

Do you see me?

Learning Disability Week 2024 Theme "Do you see me?" Discussion Questions: Do you see me? Do you understand me? Will you work with me? Do you hear me? Do you include me? Will you support me?


Do you see me?

The CENMAC team supports many children and young people across the Greater London area. We know that each one has individual needs, so when we conduct an initial assessment, we apply a person-centred approach, placing the child or young person at the heart of any decision which directly affects them.

Our aim is to help them to identify priorities and aspirations in collaboration with their family and enable them to use their individual strengths and abilities to fully realise their potential.

We like to focus on what they can do rather than what they can’t do.

> Find out more about our assessment process

Charlton Park Academy students using their AAC communication devices in a classroom

Charlton Park Academy students using their communication devices in class.

Do you understand me?

It’s important that the CENMAC team is aware of the wide range of assistive technology that exists so that we can tailor our support to the needs of every child or young person.

We run weekly Thursday Thirty training and information sessions on the technologies we use so our team as well as school SEND teams understand how the technology can support their young people. The sessions are recorded so we can refresh our knowledge or use the recordings to help with training schools when we are out and about on visits.

Many of the children and young people we support rely on assistive technology to support their learning and/or communication so getting the technology they use right is essential.

> Take a look at our Thursday Thirty recordings

CENMAC's Thursday Thirty Live online training & information sessions

Thursday Thirty online information and training sessions.

Will you work with me?

In our work supporting children and young people we meet some amazing teaching assistants. The extra work and skills of these individuals has a huge impact on their students’ learning.

Every month we like to celebrate the achievements of a TA who has gone above and beyond their role to support their student and help with their learning, communication and independence.

> Find out more about these amazing TAs

CENMAC's Teaching Assistant of the Month Award

CENMAC’s Teaching Assistant of the Month Award.

Do you hear me?

Our annual event Communication Works gives us an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the children and young people we support. It’s a chance for them to be heard, #getseen and show how assistive technology supports their access to the curriculum and can give them a voice.

The event also offers some of our young people a chance to do some work experience with jobs such as manning the reception area and welcome desk, greeting our visitors, manning the photo booth and assisting catering staff by collecting used cups and plates. They also formed a production line prior to the show packing 300 visitor showbags with useful information.

> Find out more about Communication Works

Equality of Access to the Technology we need poster to download

Download our poster celebrating the achievements of our young people at Communication Works by graphic facilitator @mendoncapen.

Giving our students a voice

Our student ambassador Khamani is currently studying Film and TV at college as he wants to be a TV presenter. He has interviewed some great people like young person Georgina who attended Trelor College where she studied performing arts and media and she was also featured in a short film.

> Watch Khamani’s interview with Georgina

Watch student ambassador Khamani’s interview with Georgina.

RIX Wikis

We use a multimedia tool called the RIX Wiki to empower every student, no matter their abilities, a voice/tool to share their needs, thoughts, abilities, skills, aspirations, hopes and dreams – Multimedia self-advocacy.

A wiki is a person-specific interactive website for the students themselves and everyone involved in their care and education to share information. It is a secure, password protected web-based tool which can include video, images text, documents and audio files. These will be lifelong tools which will eventually be owned by the student and their family.

> Learn more about RIX Wikis

Charlton Park Academy student working on her Rix Wiki in class

Charlton Park Academy student using her RIX Wiki in class.

Do you include me?

Our AAC Consultant Abdi Omar mentors some of the children and young people we support. He gives them fun activities to help them engage with and practice using their communication devices.

The sessions help improve self-confidence, their sociability skills and their ability to be understood by people other than their family and school community.

AAC Consultant Abi Omar with two of the students he mentors at Charlton Park Academy

AAC Consultant Abdi Omar with two of the students he mentors.

Will you support me?

To help support children and young people with their learning, communication and most importantly their independence we use an amazing range of assistive technology.

Many of the companies we work with exhibit at Communication Works. This gives our visitors an opportunity to see and get hands on with technology they might not have seen before.

> Find out more about the technology

Bob Sagoo from Pretorian Technologies showing some assistive technology to a student

Bob Sagoo from Pretorian Technologies talking to a student at Communication Works. (Image courtesy of Bob Sagoo).