Every child and young person with special educational needs or disabilities has the right to live a fulfilling and meaningful life. The community around you should be accessible to you and your family. The information we provide in this section should help you to use community services to your advantage.
Across the country the Changing Places Consortium is supporting local communities to become more accessible to people with profound and multiple physical and learning disabilities, including motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy, as well as helping older people. It supports the provision of fully equipped changing places that are suitable for multiple levels of care needs. These changing facilities may require a ‘Radar’ key to access them, a membership card or tag, or may need you to seek access from an information point. Please check on the Changing Places website for details about your local amenities:
- Butchers Row Public Facilities, Shrewsbury Town Centre
- Attingham Park, Atcham, nr Shrewsbury
- Llangollen Pavilion, Llangollen
- Southwater Way, Telford Shopping Centre
- Morrisons Supermarket, Lawley Village, nr Telford
- Lakewood Wellbeing Centre, Wellington, nr Telford
Transport and travel
Being such a large area, getting about in Shropshire to do things can sometimes be hard. It can be even more difficult if you have additional needs or disabilities.
Our concessionary travel scheme can help you to use public transport at reduced cost. This means that if you need a carer, or prefer not to travel alone and meet the criteria, your carer or companion can travel at a reduced rate too.
If you have a medical condition that means you can’t use public transport (trains, buses, taxis) to get to hospital you may be able to use the non-emergency patient transport service. If you don't qualify for this service there are local taxi firms that offer adapted vehicles upon request, as well as local buses with accessible areas that should accommodate most needs. Please contact your local service provider for further information.
There are many travel concessions available to those with limited mobility, income, or difficulties accessing public transport.
There are specific concessions available for disabled people, including reduced rates or free parking at selected locations (when displaying an eligible blue badge), as well as a selection of specialist concessions available from your local authority. If eligible you can choose from three concessions: a national bus pass, a companion or carer bus pass or national travel tokens. Contact our Concessionary Travel Team for more information.
There are many reduced rate or free car parks available across the county, but these are offered at the discretion of the provider. Disabled access bays are provided at the discretion of the car park owner. While it's generally accepted that an eligible blue badge should be displayed, there may be some other rules displayed that you should make yourself aware of. Please see our blue badge information pages to apply for or renew yours.
Safe places in Shropshire
Safe Places is an initiative available across Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin that provides a place where vulnerable people, those with learning difficulties or problems like anxiety can feel comfortable. Shops, cafes, and public spaces that have the Safe Places sticker displayed should have trained members of staff who are able to help a person who needs a little help or support. There are many locations across Shropshire that offer this service - just look for the Safe Places logo...
Find out more about safe places at Shropshire Disability Network.
Our customer service hubs offer access to council services through online and telephone access points, as well as in person. Some of the services available may be provided by contacting our customer service centre from the community hub.
Our Library Service supports SEND families as follows:
Universal packs are available for babies and pre-schoolers. These are delivered mainly by health visitors and early years settings, but are also available through your local library. The following packs can also be requested. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Bookshine - for children who are deaf
There are two packs: Bookshine Baby (up to two years old) and Bookshine Toddler (three to five years old). Each pack has two books, a rhyme place mat (with babies signing) and guidance around sharing books. The toddler pack also includes a bookmark showing British Sign Language.
Booktouch - for children who are blind or have vision loss
There are two packs: Booktouch Baby (up to two years old) and Booktouch Toddler three to five years old). Each pack has two touch-and-feel books, a Bookstart Rhymetimes CD and booklet, as well as guidance around sharing books with blind and partially sighted children.
Bookstart Star for children with conditions affecting their fine motor skills
For children aged three to five years old who have disabilities which impact on or delay the development of their fine motor skills. Each pack has a copy of an exclusive touch-and-feel book from Child's Play publishers, a board book, finger puppets for playing along with the story and guidance sheets
Shropshire Libraries are now working in partnership with the online mental health service for children and young people, Kooth. Kooth is a free online counselling and emotional wellbeing platform for children and young people accessible through mobile, tablet and desktop. It can be accessed through the computers within the libraries or on their own device using the free wifi available in all libraries. Library staff have been trained to assist with the accessing of the website.
Shropshire Libraries are now autism-friendly spaces. Staff have undertaken autism awareness training and we've developed a social story for each branch to ease the library journey for people with autism. Follow the link on each branch page on the library webpages to read the social stories for each library.
The Autism-friendly Libraries training film has helped to raise staff awareness of autism-friendly approaches, and we've made a few simple adjustments which we hope will make our libraries much more inclusive.
Reading Well Shelf Help for young people
This scheme provides a booklist of 35 titles selected to provide young people aged 13 to 18 years with advice, information and support to help them understand their mental health and wellbeing. It covers 12 topics and conditions including anxiety, depression, self-harm, body image and eating disorders, as well as life experiences such as bullying. The booklist features self-help and psycho-education material, as well as memoirs, graphic novels and fiction. The books are available to request across Shropshire libraries.
How can books help?
Some of the recommended books provide helpful information and self-management techniques. There are also personal stories about other people’s experiences
which may help you to understand your own. You can use the books on your own or with the support of a health professional. The health professionals involved in your treatment can also advise you on other help and support available.
How are the books chosen?
The books have all been recommended by health experts and people living with long term conditions. They've been selected using guidelines and quality standards from NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) with advice from a range of professional organisations, and support from the Coalition for Collaborative Care.