Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting HT NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Thousands back campaign for better education for disabled adults
THOUSANDS put pen to paper backing a petition to bring a full time college for disabled adults to Hereford.
Alison Sheppard is leading the campaign and presented the 6,000-strong petition to Herefordshire Council chairman Councillor Olwyn Barnett last Friday.
Currently, disabled students can only stay on in a special school until they are 19 and if they are in a mainstream secondary school they leave at 16.
Mrs Sheppard, from Bridstow, near Ross-on- Wye, said the severely disabled, like her teenage son David, are “just abandoned at 19”, as many are too unwell or afraid to travel away to university.
That is why she is campaigning for a full time day college for 19 to 25-year-old disabled adults in the city.
She said: “I think the campaign has gone well with regards to highlighting to the people of Herefordshire the terrible injustice that is happening to disabled young adults here.
“I would hope the council members and the officers will take notice of the number of people who have signed this petition and work with Richard Aird and his staff at Barrs Court to set up this facility locally for September 2013.
“This campaign is not finished – in April we are taking the petition to 10 Downing Street to highlight the problem.”
Mr Aird, the headteacher of Barrs Court Special School and College, said the situation regarding further education for disabled young people remains a big issue.
In a press release issued last November, Herefordshire Council said that from 2015 all young people up to the age of 18 should be in full time education or training and for students with a learning disability assessment, this requirement will continue to the age of 24.
The council is reviewing the education requirements for disabled people and recommendations will be consulted upon early this year.