External Links for Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)

For more information about specific disabilities or learning difficulties, please refer to the websites below. We've also researched organisations, including museums and galleries which are doing exemplary work in the area of SEND.

Return to our main page: The AccessArt Offer to SEND

The Royal Academy of Arts

The RA Access programme for visitors with additional needs.

https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/access-at-the-ra

Annual How and Why Conference ‘Engaging children with special educational needs in creative experiences and making art’ 

Saturday 18th March

https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/event/why-and-how-2017

The National Autistic Society

https://www.autism.org.uk

Autism Together

Supporting the individual with autism to maximise life opportunities and offering a wide range of specialist support services to people with autism and their families.

https://www.autismtogether.co.uk

the Autism Alliance

The major UK network of specialist autism charities.

https://www.autism-alliance.org.uk/Connect-to-Autism

national Deaf Children’s Society

The leading charity dedicated to creating a world without barriers for deaf children and young people.

https://www.ndcs.org.uk

Action on hearing loss

Providing support for people with hearing loss and tinnitus.

https://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk

RNIB

Supporting people with sight loss.

https://www.rnib.org.uk

Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities Network

https://www.pmldnetwork.org

Downs Syndrome association

https://www.downs-syndrome.org.uk

About learning Disabilities

https://www.aboutlearningdisabilities.co.uk

Joanna Grace – The Sensory Project

A special educational needs and disabilities consultant and
founder of The Sensory Projects.

https://jo.element42.org/home

Montessori and Sen

SEN articles

actionspace

Supporting the development of artists with learning disabilities.

https://actionspace.org

ArtBox london

Free weekly studio sessions for artists with learning disabilities plus the opportunity to exhibit and sell work.

https://www.artboxlondon.org

Arthouse meath

 Supporting creativity in adults living with complex epilepsy, learning and physical difficulties.

https://www.arthousemeath.com

Core Arts

Promoting positive mental health and wellbeing through creative learning.

https://www.corearts.co.uk

dash

A disability led visual arts organisation.

https://www.dasharts.org

Rowan

A Cambridge-based charity set up to improve the lives of learning-disabled people through the provision of services and meaningful activities. It has five studios working in a variety of mediums to produce high quality art and crafts.

https://www.rowanhumberstone.co.uk

full circle arts

A disabled led organisation encouraging inclusive participation to give people the capacity, inspiration and tools to be part of the cultural conversation and achieve excellence in the arts.

https://www.fullcirclearts.co.uk

Red2Green

A Cambridgeshire charity providing services including learning, leisure and work opportunities for people with a wide range of disabilities, including mental ill-health, learning disabilities and autism spectrum conditions.

https://www.red2green.org

Heart and Sold

A platform for Downs Syndrome artists to create, educate, inspire, sell and most importantly, promote the idea that art is from the heart and has nothing to do with the condition.

https://heartandsold.org.uk

low vision art

Painting for visually impaired children and adults.

https://www.lowvisionart.org

Camden Arts centre

Get the Message: an ongoing project working with young people and teachers from local Special Education Needs (SEN) schools and artists.

outside in

A platform for artists who see themselves as facing barriers to the art world due to health, disability, social circumstance or isolation.

https://www.outsidein.org.uk

Project Ability

A Glasgow-based visual arts organisation providing creative opportunities for children and adults with disabilities and mental health issues.

https://www.project-ability.co.uk

Rocket Artists

A group of artists with learning disabilities making visual artwork and performance alongside a community of over 100 other artists at Phoenix Arts, Brighton.

https://www.rocketartists.co.uk

Artists Access 2 Art Colleges

Offers inclusive courses:

https://www.aa2a.org

studio upstairs

Promoting artistic practice as a valuable way to create meaning and purpose in life, leading from isolation to community for adults experiencing enduring mental or emotional difficulties.

https://www.studioupstairs.org.uk

disabled photographers’ society

Photography for people with disabilities, or their carers, or groups or anyone with an interest in helping disabled people.

https://www.the-dps.co.uk

the film bunch

Showcasing short films from upcoming filmmakers from around the world. The Film Bunch’s mission is to improve access for deaf and hard-of-hearing people to mainstream short films, by providing subtitles, British Sign Language interpreters and live captioning at their events.

https://thefilmbunch.com

carousel

Supporting learning disabled artists develop artistic projects in film, music, performance and production.

https://www.carousel.org.uk

arts and disability ireland

The national development and resource organisation for arts and disability.

https://adiarts.ie

disability writes

Actively supports and encourages disabled writers, whatever their previous writing experience, to develop their creative writing skills.

https://www.disabilitywrites.org.uk

creative future

Nurtures marginalised artists and writers in their creative development, providing skills training, mentoring, exhibiting, promoting and publishing opportunities.

https://www.creativefuture.org.uk

disability arts online

A digital hub that connects people to the world of disability arts: blogs, articles and editorials, information on arts projects and a weekly e-bulletin with the latest listings for arts-related disability jobs, opportunities and events across the UK and abroad.

https://www.disabilityartsonline.org.uk

WESC Foundation

A leading national visual impairment centre for the education and care of children, young people and adults, aged 5-25, based in the south west.

https://www.wescfoundation.ac.uk

Burgess autistic trust

Specialists in Autistic Spectrum Condition providing practical advice and emotional support to both people with the condition and their carers and families.

https://www.burgessautistictrust.org.uk

Arts and Minds

The leading arts and mental health charity in Cambridgeshire offering Arts on Prescription, a series of friendly, weekly art workshops for people experiencing depression, stress or anxiety.

https://artsandminds.org.uk

Corali

A committed group of people made up of performers with learning disabilities and artist collaborators and educationalists who do not. Corali exists to explore the unique creativity and expression of people with learning disabilities by putting on original performance works and by offering on-going professional development, education and training opportunities.

https://www.corali.org.uk/wordpress/

Zinc Arts

Delivering high-quality, multi-arts activities for people of all ages and abilities and creating inclusive opportunities for people to be engaged creatively, educationally and vocationally.

https://zincarts.org.uk

Early Birds and Night owls at the Science Museum, London

Enables families with children who have an Autism Spectrum Condition to come along and enjoy the Museum free from the hustle and bustle of the general public.

https://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/visitmuseum/plan_your_visit/events/other/early_birds_event

https://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/visitmuseum/Plan_your_visit/events/other/Night_Owls

The British Museum

Access and SEN – Inclusive learning opportunities for all young visitors offering a wide range of facilities for students with visual, hearing, learning and mobility impairments.

https://www.britishmuseum.org/learning/schools_and_teachers/access_and_sen.aspx

Museum of London

Events for visitors with additional needs, including Morning Explorers for families with children who have autistic spectrum conditions.

https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/museum-london/whats-on?edate=1457136000&ccm_paging_p_b6655=9?s=true&flags=&flagsLookingFor=&where=&when=&who=suitable_for_visitors_with_additional_needs&datepickerFrom=&datepickerTo=&series=

The National Gallery

The Gallery provides British Sign Language-interpreted talks on paintings for visitors who are deaf or hard-of-hearing and art sessions for visitors who are blind and partially sighted. For school groups, the Gallery can also offer sessions using multi-sensory materials for students who are blind and partially sighted and for students with learning disabilities.

https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/visiting/access/access

Royal Observatory, greenwich

A range of assistance offered for visitors with additional needs and free admission for carers. 

https://www.rmg.co.uk/royal-observatory/facilities-access?page=1

For children with an Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC), the Observatory offers ‘Morning Stars’, a special planetarium show for children with an ASC and their families and carers, presented live by a Royal Observatory astronomer.

https://www.rmg.co.uk/see-do/exhibitions-events/morning-stars-planetarium-show#9GHeJKbps6G3A02c.99

V&A Museum

Assistance offered for visitors with additional needs, including a sensory back-pack designed for children with visual impairments.

https://www.vam.ac.uk/info/disability-access

The Museum of Liverpool

The Museum has signed up to the Autism Charter to make the Museum autism-friendly, through Autism Together and the Connect to Autism scheme. It is piloting learning sessions for visitors with autism. It also offers tactile tours of the Museum.

https://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/learning/autism-sessions.aspx

https://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/mol/visit/access.aspx

The House of Memories is an innovative dementia awareness training programme for social care staff.

https://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/learning/projects/house-of-memories/

The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Portals to the World: a free art appreciation course designed especially for individuals living at home with a dementia diagnosis and their care partners. Each week there is a short talk in one of the galleries followed by a related art handling, or hands on, art activity.

https://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/calendar/whatson/portals-world-people-dementia-and-their-care-partners

The Oxford University Museums and Collections

Offers Outreach Sessions to community groups to provide a unique experience by bringing the museums to you.  These sessions are free and normally last between 45 minutes and 1½ hours. They are delivered at your venue and can be tailored to meet your group’s particular needs and interests.

https://www.museums.ox.ac.uk/community-outreach

The Story Museum, Oxford

Visitors with disabilities receive a concessionary ticket and if they require a companion or carer then this person receives a free ticket. Relaxed Visits on the first Sunday morning of every month, are for those with autism, learning disabilities or sensory and communication disorders.

https://www.storymuseum.org.uk/visit/accessibility/

The Natural History Museum, London

Dawnosaurs – Enjoy the Museum without the usual crowds and queues at this special event for children on the autistic spectrum aged between five and eleven years old, and their families, siblings and carers.

https://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/whats-on/programs/nhm/dawnosaurs.html?date=16.04.2016

the royal airforce museum

The museum has prepared a couple of free information packs for those visitors with autism who wish to come to the London site. Both packs are free to download.

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/plan-your-day/accessibility.aspx

Eureka! the National Children’s museum, Halifax

Once a month the Museum has fun packed Super Sunday clubs, then a Sensory Story in the afternoon. Clubs run from 10am – 12pm and must be booked in advance. Sensory Stories take place at 2pm and are open to all visitors. 

https://www.eureka.org.uk/whats-happening/helping-hands/

The Museum also offers a free pair of hands for disabled children and their families to accompany you on the day of your visit, to guide and support you, and generally make sure you get the very best out of your day out.

https://www.eureka.org.uk/visit-us/disabledvisitors/

The Great North Museum: Hancock, newcastle

Occasional early opening for those with autism, learning disabilities or sensory and communication disorders. You can download a Visual Story for the museum which may help prepare those who have not attended before for their visit.

https://greatnorthmuseum.org.uk/whats-on/autism-friendly-early-opening

The Discovery Museum, newcastle

To support learners with special educational needs and disabilities the gallery is keen to work in partnership with teaching staff to adapt as appropriate their core workshop offer to provide inclusive learning experiences.

There is a Visual Story of the Museum which some children may find useful to see before a visit and can be downloaded for free. There is also an online guide with a Street View of the different floors in the Museum which can be used to explore the Museum before a visit. This may be beneficial to some visitors with conditions that cause anxiety when entering a new environments.

https://discoverymuseum.org.uk/learning/send-provision

Whizz Kidz

Transforming the lives of disabled children by providing the vital equipment, support and life skills they need to reach their full potential.

https://www.whizz-kidz.org.uk

Disability Rocks

Creates festivals and events to provide a positive experience through music and the arts for those with disabilities and additional needs.  They also showcase the talent of artists and musicians who themselves have disabilities.

https://disabilityrocks.org

Amici Dance Theatre Company

A unique dance theatre company integrating able-bodied & disabled artists and performers. Its productions and workshops have had a major impact world-wide, challenging conventional attitudes about disability and the arts.

https://www.amicidance.org

Drake Music

Working where music, disability and technology meet to:

  • Create opportunities and instruments that make music fully accessible
  • Increase participation in music-making at all levels
  • Build an integrated musical culture where disabled and non-disabled musicians work together as equals.

https://www.drakemusic.org

Face Front

An inclusive theatre company of disabled and nondisabled artists producing professional, entertaining and challenging multi-layered theatre, through its Theatre in Schools, Participation and Theatre programmes.

Performances and workshops, which take place in regional theatres, schools and a variety of venues, are carefully crafted to be accessible to all, including people with physical, sensory and learning impairments.

https://www.facefront.org

Graeae Theatre Company

Champions accessibility and provides a platform for new generations of Deaf and disabled talent through the creation of trail-blazing theatre, at home and internationally.

https://www.graeae.org

Half Moon

A theatre company based in Tower Hamlets, London working to engage participants (artists and young people) who often feel excluded from arts activity, such as those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, Deaf and disabled people, or those excluded due to socio-economic circumstance.

https://www.halfmoon.org.uk

stopgap dance

Employing disabled and non-disabled artists who find innovative ways to collaborate.  Stopgap are experts of inclusive choreography and have extensive experience of nurturing disabled and non-disabled artists for making inclusive works.

https://stopgapdance.com

Visable

Creating mainstream professional opportunities for actors, presenters and models with disabilities.

https://visablepeople.com

Purple Patch Arts

Working across the Yorkshire region offering learning programmes to people with learning disabilities and professionals that support them. All of their programmes use creative, interactive and multi-sensory teaching methods.

https://www.purplepatcharts.org/home/4577309034

Thelma Hulbert Gallery

Based in Devon, the gallery has an ongoing programme of occasional workshops by artists, offering practical, accessible approaches to visual art.  They also have monthly Art & Mind sessions: an afternoon of artmaking in a safe and welcoming atmosphere for people who have experience of mild to moderate stress, anxiety or depression, or who care for someone who has.

https://www.thelmahulbert.com

Outside In

Providing a platform for artists who see themselves as facing barriers to the art world due to health, disability, social circumstance or isolation. The goal of the project is to create a fairer art world which rejects traditional values and institutional judgements about whose work can and should be displayed.

www.outsidein.org.uk/home_2013

Redstart Arts

Developing and delivering visual arts for adults with learning disabilities and acting as a platform for artists with learning disabilities, enabling them to work collaboratively with creative professionals to create high quality art, installations or products that have a valued place within the visual and applied arts world.

https://www.redstartarts.com/news

Livability

Providing disability and community services that promote inclusion and wellbeing for all.

https://www.livability.org.uk

Tincture of museum

A blog with an ongoing discussion of Autism in museums.

https://tinctureofmuseum.wordpress.com

Jhinuk Sarkar

An artist and illustrator who facilitates workshops for learning disabled people and physically and invisibly impaired people.

https://cargocollective.com/paperfig

Rehab4Addiction

Learn more about overcoming addiction for the sensory impaired by reading this informative article by Ollie Clark.

https://www.rehab4addiction.co.uk/guides/overcoming-addiction-sensory-impaired

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