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Physical Medical - Whole School Approaches

It is important that children and young people with a physical disability or an identified medical need have equal access to the learning environment in their chosen school. To facilitate this, schools need to create an inclusive learning environment where every child or young person is valued. In order to achieve such an environment, it is important that up to date information about the child or young person's physical condition and any associated learning needs is collated. These initial details will be provided by the family or carers, therefore establishing good home/school liaison at the outset is vital. In addition, advice (and training where necessary) will need to be sought from both education (Specialist Advisory Teacher) and health professionals (Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist, Speech and Language Therapist, Community Nurse etc.) Creating the right environment will help to promote the child or young person's independence and support equality with their peers. This will only be achieved through true partnership working amongst all agencies involved.

Planning an inclusive school environment will usually involve detailed assessment of physical access and may result in adaptations being recommended. Specialised equipment e.g. seating, height adjustable tables, computer software may be necessary to support the inclusion of the child or young person.

A physical disability can be described as long term, usually lasting a life time. It is seldom static, so changing needs will need to be reassessed regularly.

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