Free CPD seminars Middle 2024

Keep up to date on the latest topics through our free seminars, discussions and workshops presented by industry experts.

EXPERT speakers
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Seminar programme

Seminar sessions running concurrently

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Room 1

10:00 am

Risky Business – The benefits of positive risk taking.

Aurndra Marshall-Clarke – Occupational Therapist

Disabled Living

Risk is a necessary and important part of life for all of us, but for professionals and carers there is a strong emphasis on managing risk and protecting our clients from harm. There may be a potential to be over cautious which can result in limiting an individual’s choices, quality of life, experiences and development.

Although there can be challenges with positive risk-taking, taking well-calculated, managed risks can lead to enjoyable experiences for our clients and help them retain their independence as much as possible. Positive risk management does not mean trying to eliminate risk. It means managing risks to maximise people’s choice and control over their lives.

Learning outcomes:- To understand why positive risk taking is important as a means to enable cared for individuals to have a more fulfilling life. To understand how to balance positive risk taking while providing safe care to the individual. To be confident in recording supported decision making.

Aurndra has over 36 years of experience working across a wide variety of settings in NHS, Social Care, forensics and private sector, is an industry expert speaker at many conferences, is a contributor to academic papers and text books on specialist subjects, and has had a number of research papers published. 

Room 2

10:00 am

Dear Professionals…

Rachel Wright – Founder / Director

Born at the Right Time Ltd

Dear Professionals… is inspired by the things Parent-Carers would so desperately like to say to the many professionals they see regularly. In addition to gratitude, this provides space to reflect on the small things that practitioners do which have a huge impact, for better or worse.

The objectives of this session are for both practitioners and parent-carers to explore the simple and meaningful ways in which true personalised care can build bridges, nurture communication and improve the lives of the people they support.

It will help both with outcomes and how interactions are experienced on both sides. This seminar is of interest to parent, carers and professionals.

Rachel is a qualified nurse, married to a GP and unqualified mum of three; one of whom has complex disabilities and medical needs. She is an author, podcast host and an award winning blogger.

Room 1

11:00 am

Understanding the Sensory Challenges for Successful Toilet Training

Davina Richardson RGN/RSCN – Children’s Specialist Nurse

Bladder & Bowel UK

Developing the skills for toileting is important for all children, but is often more difficult for those with additional needs. Understanding around how to best support children develop the required skills has increased, as has awareness of how sensory issues impact toileting.

This seminar will discuss the role of the senses in learning the skills to use the toilet and offer suggestions for techniques to support children with sensory issues or differences achieve their potential to be clean and dry.

The seminar is relevant for families and professionals supporting children with sensory issues including due to autism or developmental differences.

Davina is a specialist nurse with 17 years’ experience working with children with bladder and bowel issues, and experience working with children with additional needs.

Room 2

11:00 am

Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) for young people with complex neurodisabilities.

Paula Marten – Assistant Headteacher

Chailey Heritage Foundation.

There is a misconception that Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) is unnecessary for young people with complex neurodisabilities.

We found:

• Limited adapted RSE education for children and young people to learn, stay safe, understand their bodies, relationships, and sexuality

• Staff ill-equipped to teach RSE to YP with complex neurodisabilities.

• No appropriate resources

• Lack of training regarding personal care

• Families/carers unaware of the need for RSE or uncertain how to address it.

Teaching RSE with confidence can change peoples’ lives. We have trained teachers, support staff, governors, parents, therapists, social workers, senior managers. I will talk about the course and how to teach/support in RSE.

Paula has 28 years’ experience in Special Education. Qualifications – BA (Hons), PGCE, M.ed (SEN/Inclusion) and leads on transition to adult services at CHF. 

Room 1

12:00 pm

Risk Assessment Responsibility

 Kate Sheehan – Director, DipCOT FRCOT FUOW,

The OT Service

This seminar will discuss the responsibilities around risk assessment when prescribing necessary equipment and what the role of the suppling therapist is, considering client need, the working environment and our professional duties.

Learning outcomes:-
1. Understanding the need for a comprehensive risk assessment
2. Review and be aware of our professional responsibilities
3. Be able to clearly identify the process of risk assessment. This presentation is suitable for carers and professionals.                   

Kate is an Occupational Therapist specialising in environmental design and equipment provision. Kate is well respected as a leader in the field of housing design and product development and is passionate that environments and products are designed to meet function, enable occupation, are simple and intuitive to us.                            

Room 2

12:00 pm

SEND and EHCPs – Know Your Rights

Erika Wright – Solicitor

Irwin Mitchell LLP

We will take parents through:-
• The difficulties in obtaining an Education & Health Care Plan (EHCP)
• What an EHCP should look like
• School issues
• Parental rights through the processes
• Annual reviews
• Ceasing an EHCP
• The rights of a young person (from 16 years old)

By the end of the session, parents should be empowered to challenge the local authority decisions and know the appropriate route to challenge the LA.

Parents will know more about what an EHCP should look like which will, hopefully, inform them as they move through the process of drafting an EHCP or reviewing an EHCP at annual review.               

Erika is a solicitor within the Public Law and Human Rights team based in Birmingham. She specialises in education law, health and social care matters and cases within the Court of Protection.

Room 1

1:30 pm

How to make great occupational therapy referrals

Dr Sally Payne PhD, MSc, BSc, DipCOT – Professional Advisor and Occupational Therapist

Royal College of Occupational Therapists

Occupational therapy makes a difference to children and young people, but it can be difficult to access the help children need to realise their potential and live their best lives at home, at school and elsewhere.

This session will help participants:-

• Understand the role of occupational therapy with children and young people

• Know how to frame an occupational therapy referral so children and young people can access the right help, first time.

The session is for parents/carers, teachers and others who refer to occupational therapy, and for occupational therapists who want to keep occupation at the centre of their practice.

Sally is an experienced children’s occupational theraist with a strategic role developing national relationships and partnerships that benefit children, young people and families.

Room 2

1:30 pm

An audience with the Whizz Kidz Board 

Ella – Kidz Board Chair and Jo Fashan Associate Director of Engagement & Policy

Whizz Kidz 

The Kidz Board at Whizz Kidz work together to be the role models they wanted when they were younger, and to work towards a world in which young wheelchair users have the confidence, skills and opportunities needed to be an active part of society.

 Introducing Ella who became the Chair of Kidz Board in 2023, having joined as a member in 2019 representing the East-Midlands. Ella has been the beneficiary of Whizz Kidz Equipment services and participated in the Sports Coaching Program. Ella works as a Human Resources Administrator, and recently returned to Northampton University part time to progress her studies. Outside of her work, she keeps active with her assistance dog Moose and has a keen interest in disability rights and activism. Ella also enjoys swimming, training for triathlons and marathons, and completed the London Marathon in 2023 for Whizz Kidz.

Ella will be accompanied by Jo Fashan, Associate Director of Engagement & Policy at Whizz Kidz. They will share experiences and the work the Kidz Board and Whizz Kidz are doing to help other young wheelchair users around the country.

During this session Ella will talk about her own experience of being a wheelchair user including going to university, navigating transition from education to employment, barriers to education and the equipment she received that helped her on her journey.

This session is suitable for parents, carers, children, young adults, professionals and will also include a Q&A session to include questions from the audience.

Room 1

2:30 pm

Building eye gaze skills with Look Lab

Keira Fewtrell, Assistive Technology Trainer


Eye tracking technology has helped thousands of people around the world access communication and enjoy greater independence. While advancements continue to be made, implementation remains a common challenge.

In this talk we will introduce you to Look Lab, a software title designed to help users of any age build confidence with eye gaze in a fun and enjoyable way.

Discover how accessible games and creative activities can help people get started and improve their skills. We will look at the specific skills Look Lab builds, including hitting targets, dwelling, tracking objects and moving the cursor around the screen. We will also cover the tools and resources available to help you measure progress and support learning.                                                                                                 

Keira is a Post Graduate in Profound and Complex learning disabilities, has18 years’ experience working in specialist service and has worked for Smartbox for 8 years.

Room 2

2:30 pm

Assessing transport for wheelchair occupants 

Hayden Gardner, Sales Manager

Brotherwood Automobility 

A workshop for occupational therapists and healthcare professionals designed to guide the process of identifying and procuring safe, inclusive and comfortable transport solutions for wheelchair users.

You’ll be introduced to key details you should look for when assessing mobility needs, get insights into what factors influence comfort, inclusion and safety when travelling, and gain an understanding of the funding options and exemptions available and key considerations when building cost reports.

This workshop includes practical demonstrations including how to carry out transport needs assessments; the use of WTORS (restraint systems) and how to identify safety- tested devices in line with legislation.

 Learning objectives:-

• Understanding the basic options available for personal transportation for wheelchair users.

• Able to carry out basic needs assessment for a wheelchair user looking for personal transport.

• Understanding the relevant legislation affecting wheelchair accessible transport and safety testing for wheelchairs.

• Able to identify the main factors contributing to comfort, suitability and safety for personal transportation for wheelchair users.

• Understanding the main considerations when cost reporting for personal transport. This presentation is suitable for parents, carers and professionals.