19th Nov, 2018

Coventry University wins £100,000 for research led by disabled youngsters

Correspondent 16th May, 2017

COVENTRY University has won £100,000 funding for a research project into independent living led by disabled people.

The university will lead the project which also involves Grapevine, the city-based charity for disabled people, Coventry City Council and other partners.

The £100,000 has come from a £5million research programme into independent living for disabled people.

The project will explore the quality and usefulness of Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) for young disabled people and how they might be improved.

The university says EHCPs are supposed to support disabled children and young people to be more independent by detailing the best way to meet their needs, but ‘often are not more than a tick box exercise’.

The award comes from the DRILL (Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning) programme, a five-year scheme led by disabled people and funded by Big Lottery Fund.

Managed by Coventry University, the project will be led by young disabled people, who will be working alongside academics and policy makers.

Other partners include the Alliance for Inclusive Education (Allfie), disability campaigner Zara Todd and Nottinghamshire County Council.

Evan Odell from Disability Rights UK, which is supporting DRILL projects in England said: “We’re delighted to be funding this project, run by and for disabled people.

“The results will help support disabled people to live more independently, and be part of the communities they live in.”

Dr Anita Franklin from Coventry University added: “The quality of EHCPs has received little attention, with many plans not meeting the needs or rights of disabled young people.

“This research, being undertaken by disabled young people, will help us identify the best way to develop EHCPs which really make a difference and support young people to be more independent.”

DRILL is expecting to fund a total of up to 40 research pilots and projects over a five-year period, all led by disabled people. Around £1million has been allocated in the latest round of applications.

DRILL – delivered by Disability Rights UK, Disability Action Northern Ireland, Inclusion Scotland and Disability Wales – is also calling for new applications for research or project funds.

More information is available from www.drilluk.org.uk

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