Disability course improves youngsters' behaviour

Foundation launches wheelchair handling programme.

The Foundation of Light, in association with Portland Academy, has launched its first Wheelchair Handling course.

The 12-week course aims to increase young people’s confidence in safer handling techniques when pushing wheelchairs and assisting wheelchair users, with participants working alongside students from Portland Academy with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD).

Upon completion of the course, participants will receive a qualification in Wheelchair Handling, and will be invited to attend a special celebration at Portland Academy.

Participants from the Foundation of Light’s Pitstop programme, which works with youngsters with challenging behaviour, are undertaking the course

The Foundation of Light has a long standing relationship with Portland Academy with the charity’s Making Moves department delivering disability coaching for youngsters at the school for a number of years.

Michael Lewis, from the Foundation’s Pitstop team commented:“The Wheelchair Handling course gives the youngsters an opportunity to better understand the needs of others, whilst giving them the chance to learn skills that are useful to the broader community.”

Some of the youngsters that we come into contact with through the Pitstop programme suffer with self-esteem and self-confidence issues and this can manifest itself through very challenging behaviour.”

This course helps the youngsters relate better to those around them and, in addition to the work we do with them in our Stadium of Light classroom, has a direct impact on their overall behaviour.”

The Foundation of Light has recently also launch a Disability Awareness programme that helps non-disabled Primary School children understand disability more and incorporate those with disabilities into play more.

Portland Academy Portland Academy is a specialist school for cognition and learning,

catering for approximately 150 students 150 students between the ages of 11 and 19 who experience severe learning difficulties and profound, multiple and complex medical needs.

The Pitstop programme is funded by Sunderland City Council and the Premier League Community Fund.