Sensory Framework in Luke’s Blog

Latest Blog entry from Luke Beardon. Follow @sheffieldluke on Twitter for updates, and please feel free to make constructive comments.

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Cancelled Oct 12th seminar: Teacher education in New Zealand: Perpetuating or rejecting ‘special’ education?

Apologies but Gill Rutherford has had to return very unexpectedly to New Zealand and so is unable to deliver the seminar on Monday Oct 12th 2015.

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Free Event: A letter to my autistic self

Bookings are now being taken for The Autism Centre’s event as part of the ESRC Social Sciences Festival 2015. This is a free event and takes place in Sheffield City Centre. You can register to attend at

Information can be found there on other exciting events too for that week. If on twitter be sure to tweet the ESRC at #esrcfestival to let them know which events you will be attending

A letter to my autistic self

When: 10 November 2015 10am–1pm

Organiser name: Jill Smith and Anja Rutten

Event description: It is essential that safe spaces are provided where the life experiences of people with autism can be shared. The differences in perspective and experience will be revealed through contributions from a range of members of the autism community in the form of live contributions, written expressions and audio/visual images. At the centre of this event will be the voices of those most affected – people with autism. The event will promote social connection between peers and intergenerationally in recognition of the importance of good social networks for mental health and well being. The event will take the format of a series of stories about connection: between past and future selves.These stories will be a variety of media and be shared at the event in accessible and appropriate formats. Afterwards there will a facilitated debate on the issues raised with audience members.


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Teacher education in New Zealand: Perpetuating or rejecting ‘special’ education?

Teacher education in New Zealand: Perpetuating or rejecting ‘special’ education?

Gill Rutherford, PhD, University of Otago

Monday 12th October, 16:30, Stoddart-7513a

Please see below for information on an upcoming free Sheffield Institute of Education  (SIOE), Sheffield Hallam University External Research Seminar.

This event is free but your attendance needs to be confirmed  by emailing

This seminar provides an overview of the work being done in a New Zealand teacher education programme to reveal and contest the hegemony of ‘special’ education ideology and tacit dichotomising of students as ‘normal’ or ‘special needs.’ Drawing from the theoretical frameworks of Disability Studies and Childhood Studies, student teachers are offered alternative ways of knowing that privilege the experiences of students who are routinely marginalized, in the hope that these counter-hegemonic narratives will foster more respectful understandings of every student’s inherent worth, competence and rights. Student teachers’ work to date conveys promise that some may enter the profession unfettered by the shadow of special, and imbued with a commitment to teach and learn with all students, irrespective and respectful of difference.

Gill Rutherford, PhD

Senior Lecturer, Education and Disability Studies

University of Otago

Dunedin, New Zealand

A former high school teacher, Gill currently works in teacher education at the University of Otago, New Zealand. The overarching focus of her research, teaching and professional work is Inclusive Education and Disability Studies. Particular interests include the school experiences and perspectives of disabled students; student rights; the role of teacher aides in schools; student and qualified teachers’ thinking about disability; and inclusive teacher education.

Please let Daniel Philliskirk know of any access requirements.

Don’t forget details of Disability Research Forum (DRF) seminars can be found here.

Keep up to date with future seminars at

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Sheffield Adult Asperger Group Glass Fusing Course

Please note this is not an Autism Centre Event.

This is a message from Liz Friend ( from the Sheffield Adult Asperger Group with an invitation for adults with Asperger Syndrome to attend a glass fusing course

We now have a date for the next glass fusing course which will be Saturday 17 October from 10am to 5pm including lunch.

This is a really easy medium to work with and produces some brilliant results – you don’t have to be good at art to come along!   There will be full support for you to be able to make some really lovely pieces of glass work.   This also gives the opportunity to create some beautiful art works and maybe some Xmas gifts in advance!!  The aim is for a nice relaxing day and the opportunity to try something new!  Look on our website for examples of what we have made in the past at 

There is no charge for the course and lunch is included as well as tea and coffee throughout the day.  The course is open to everyone aged over 18.

The course will be held in the studio of local artist Alison Zwaard who has experience of Asperger syndrome.   Alison’s studio is based in Nether Edge and is a short walk from Abbeydale Road.  Her website is at:  which gives full directions and additional information.

The day will look like:

Morning session:  10am til 1pm

Session 1 – Making a glass star and a piece of dicroic glass  jewellery (can be cufflinks or key ring)
(glass cutting techniques)

Session 2 – Making a glass  bowl and coaster or window hanging

Lunch: 1pm til 2pm

Afternoon session: 2pm til 4.30/5pm
Session 3  – A final piece – glass sculpture of large bowl or glass bunting

If you want a place then please let me know – don’t worry if this date doesn’t work for you as if we have enough demand we can run another day in the autumn.

Best wishes



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The Case of the Disappearing/Appearing Slow Learner

The Case of the Disappearing/Appearing Slow Learner. Available at

This is a must read PhD thesis for anyone with an interest in children and young people with the label of special educational needs. Written by a Canadian teacher,  John Williamson, the thesis is presented in the style of a Raymond Chandler detective novel. It is a captivating and often amusing read that asks challenging questions about how we marginalise, exclude and sometimes lose pupils through artificial categorisations that serve the needs of the system rather than the children positioned within them.






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Petition for children with learning difficulties to access eye care

See Ability  have set up an online petition to compel the Government to address the issue that many children and young people in special education have never been given access to an eye test.

The petition is available at

Tell the government to make sight tests available in every special school in England.

Children with learning disabilities are 28 times more likely to have a serious sight problem than other children.

Despite this there is no national plan to meet their eye care needs.

This means thousands of children with disabilities across England are missing out on important checks on their sight.  If children’s eye problems are left untreated their sight will be at risk.

Every child should have an equal right to sight.  

This government needs to make it easier for children with disabilities to get a sight test. Making sight tests available in every special school would help many thousands of children with learning difficulties.


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