We provide interactive training workshops, focusing on many aspects of disability awareness and social inclusion. Our training is uniquely facilitated by our Inclusion Champions – young adults who experience disability on a daily basis.
Our journey started as a blog, set up to create positive change around people’s perceptions of disabilities. This was inspired by one of our founding members, who always has a smile on his face! After reaching thousands of people online, we decided to take our message further.
Through our positive message of promoting abilities, we aim to:
• Show what people with disabilities can do
• Create more cohesive, resilient communities
• Provide positive role models for people with disabilities
Our sessions produce an immediate awareness around the concept of disability, as well as the challenges faced by people with different disabilities. We focus on how these challenges can be overcome, through the stories of people with additional and/or complex needs. Our positive, resilient message can be adapted to suit your organisation’s wishes (see below for case study examples).
Our main session themes include:
- Disability vs Different Abilities
- Overcoming Challenges
- Adapting to Different Needs
- Defining Your Limits
- Celebrating Your Abilities
- Tolerance & Diversity
- Resilience & Mental Wellbeing
During our workshops, the different impairments we address include, but are not limited to:
- Autism & Sensory Processing
- Visual & Hearing
- Speech & Communication
- Learning Disabilities & Learning Difficulties
- Mental Health
Our training workshops give attendees the opportunity to:
Children & Young People
- Gain a better understanding of the different types of additional needs
- Develop a positive attitude towards disability through first-hand experience
- Foster an inclusive environment in the classroom or community
- Increase your confidence in meeting the needs of people with disabilities
- Adopt a person-first approach with all individuals
- Open opportunities for career progressions through enhanced people skills
- Effectively recruit and retain people with disabilities
- Consider the development of equal opportunities for all employees
- Create a supportive, inclusive and accessible workplace
- Establish cohesive communities in which everyone feels represented
- Improve local economy through increased access for people with disabilities
- Experience different forms of resilience that can be embraced by anyone
Ellie – Ellie is a young lady who describes herself as bubbly, likes to have a laugh and is always happy. Ellie has had Cerebral Palsy since birth and attended both Special and Mainstream schools, as well as living away from home at a residential college for 3 years. Ellie now wants to use her experiences to show what people with disabilities can do.
Kurt – Kurt would characterize himself as a hard-working individual, shown by the multitude of jobs that he has had as a young adult. Although Kurt has a number of disabilities such as being deaf, he has an extremely bright outlook on the world, and will help anyone who he thinks needs helping! Kurt wants to give the public a positive perception of disability.
Haydn – Haydn’s story inspired Happy Smiles after he spent nearly a year in hospital. Haydn’s smile lights up everyone’s day. He doesn’t let things get him down, despite having Cerebral Palsy and other additional needs that others may think would stop him from doing what he wants to do. Haydn loves to show people what he can do.
Alex – Alex is an experienced teacher, specialising in PE, and is a qualified SENCO. Alex has also been a Personal Carer to various young adults for many years, whilst his studies have included social development work in Ghana and a Masters in Education, focusing on SEND. Alex is extremely passionate about person-centred inclusion for all.
Ormiston Chadwick Academy, Widnes:
We delivered a 2-hour Resilience workshop to 220 students aged 11-12, to accompany their Every Child Matters & British Values curriculum.
“It gives a new meaning to disability.” Student
Wigan 7th Beavers:
We spent three 1-hour sessions working with 21 children aged 5-7 on their Disability Awareness badges.
“The group learned so much in a fun way. Excellent sessions. Fabulous Team!” Beavers Leader
Embrace Wigan & Leigh:
We worked with a local charity on four 1-hour workshops based on Dating & Relationships for 20 young adults with a range of disabilities.
“Having a trainer with disabilities was invaluable for our awardees, who rarely see role models with disabilities.” General Manager
Southport & Ormskirk Hospital, NHS Trust:
We delivered a 1-hour CPD session on ‘Supporting Patients with Cerebral Palsy’ to over 30 Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists.
“Highly professional training on such a personal level – extremely beneficial!” Physiotherapist
St Brendan’s RC Primary School, Bolton:
We provided interactive, awareness assemblies to over 200 children aged 4-11, whilst developing an inclusion project with their school council.
“A fun, child-friendly way to spread such an important message! My class of 4 & 5 year olds came away vibrant and knowledgeable about different abilities and the importance of using their own.” Teacher
We worked with 16 members of council support staff on a 2-hour workshop, based on Managing Positive Risk when providing care.
“Great to bring real life into training. Powerful. Interactive. Fun.” Support Staff Member
Formby High School, Liverpool:
We spent 2 hours with a group of 35 young leaders, aged 11-16, introducing them to a range of inclusive sports and activities.
“It made me think differently about how anyone can play sport.” Student
Examples of what we can offer include:
Awareness Assemblies & Talks: (Duration: 1-2 hours) We engage audiences, using the stories of our Inclusion Champions to bring our messages to life. We positively showcase abilities and reflect on this with audiences.
Half/Full Day Workshops: (Duration: 3-5 hours) Our workshops can be developed to include smaller group work. This can comprise of inclusive sports taster sessions and a deeper insight into disability in our society.
Inclusion Champion Programme: (Duration: 6 weeks) We can work with a group of up to 30 people, delivering bespoke sessions for 2 hours per week. This culminates in having your own trained team of Inclusion Champions.For further information, please visit our website: www.happysmilesblog.co.uk