FestABLE: The UK’s First Ever Specialist Learning Festival

On Saturday 2nd June, FestABLE took place at National Star College in Cheltenham. It is the first time a festival dedicated to specialist learning has been staged in the UK. There were all the usual aspects to a festival such as live music and chill out rooms and it was all fully accessible. Other features of the day included the country’s only wheelchair accessible hot air balloon and the opportunity to play with eye-gaze controlled computer games. There were also sessions on SEND reform, early autism intervention, EHC plans and removing barriers to achievement.

The award winning writer and actress Sally Phillips headlined the festival. Phillips has a son with Downs Syndrome and shared her experience and her views: ‘We are sitting on a treasure chest in the SEN world. Having a child with special needs enables parents to understand and appreciate the important things in life.’

Other guest speakers included the social care ombudsman Nigel Ellis and Max J Green who has 3500 followers on You Tube where he talks about his Asperger’s. There were also several parents and young people who spoke.

The event was a huge success- keep an eye out for next year’s FestABLE!

Thanks to FestABLE for the use of their logo.

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