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Sensory and/or physical needs

Physical disability is defined as a “limitation on a person's physical functioning, mobility, dexterity or stamina” that has a 'substantial' and 'long-term' negative effect on an individual’s ability to do normal daily activities. (Equality Act,2010). It can:

  • be mild or severe
  • affect a child or young person's development
  • be hidden.

Some children and young people may require special educational provision because they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities generally provided. These difficulties can be age related and may fluctuate over time. Many children and young people with vision impairment (VI), hearing impairment (HI) or a multi-sensory impairment (MSI) may require specialist support and/or equipment to access their learning and participate in all the same opportunities as their peers. Every child or young person with a physical disability is unique. Physical disabilities can range from:

  • degenerative conditions
  • trauma (physical and birth)
  • chromosome disorders
  • musculoskeletal conditions
  • limb differences
  • complex medical needs.

Useful websites and contacts:

PDNET - A network for learners with a physical disability  

For Us Too a charity run by parents of disabled children – supporting children and young people with disabilities and their families in Swale, Canterbury and Thanet

Tree of Hope a crowdfunding charity helping children and young people with a disability or illness by supporting their families to raise funds for specialist care that is not freely available to them via the UK healthcare system.

IASK (Information Advice and Support Kent) offer a free impartial confidential service for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities issues around your child’s education and development. Helpline 03000 41 3000.

National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS) website offering a range of information and advice for children/young people with hearing impairment and their parents.

Royal Society for Blind Children offering a range of services including emotional support and practical advice for families.

Sense Information on blindness and visual impairment