Monday, 7 October 2013
Friday, 30 August 2013
Wednesday, 28 August 2013
Wednesday, 22 May 2013
“In order to attempt to further mitigate some of the funding pressures upon schools, I have taken the decision to release an additional £2m for SEN from the DSG contingency. Whilst this in itself does not eradicate the current pressures experienced, it does reduce some of the pressures and ensures that schools will have the SEN resources to meet the needs of those pupils with SEN with Statements.”
1) Autism school provision – they are now pushing for an answer from the Department for Education on the go-ahead
2) Capital funding for post-16 to be made available
3) Transitional arrangement funding for post-16
Tuesday, 21 May 2013
Friday, 8 March 2013
Campaigning is a crucial part of raising awareness. Being on the spectrum or being the carer of someone on the spectrum is an experience that most people find difficult to comprehend. Therefore as difficult as it may be, we need to be the driving force behind campaigns that highlight autism and how it affects everyone around us.
On 12 February, the NAS, with the support of Diane Abbot, MP, launched a new project to raise awareness of the specific issues facing those with autism from Black and Ethnic Minority (BME) Communities. This was a one of a kind event which had a fantastic turnout and achieved attendance from MPs and Peers from across the political spectrum.So why have a BME specific campaign?
In a report by NAS (Missing out, 2007) it found that 24% of BME children had been excluded from schools, while 78% said their local authority did not provide support to their children during exclusion and more than half of parents from ethnic minorities whose children have autism did not have a choice of school. BME parents were also “significantly” less satisfied with their child’s academic and social progress compared to their white counterparts. This painted a stark picture of access to educational services within the BME autism community.
Seven years on and these issues are still pertinent; more so, given that resources are rapidly declining and unfortunately those who demand services are more likely to gain access to them.
There are clear issues which highlight the plight of many people with autism within the BME community. Firstly, evidence about the prevalence of autism in various communities and its impact on family life is inconsistent. Evidence has highlighted that communities may not be aware of autism, their rights and relevant services. Finally, services that are available do not always meet the needs of these families.
For me personally, I have never thought about the link between ethnicity and disability and how a substantial amount of the autism community is currently facing double discrimination. I suppose this is more of a reflection of how insular the fight becomes for you on a daily basis that you lose sight of the bigger picture. Going to the event, was an opportunity for me to think about the greater impact current changes are, and most certainly will be, having on all of us. If members within our community are not able to access even the most basic help with regards to finding much needed support then we clearly are failing in our own roles as advocates and champions. I hope this event is one of many that will pave the way for highlighting this issue more and make accessibility to information that little bit easier.
I am delighted that we were able to get a substantial presence for autism within parliament and I am extremely hopeful that it will provide some much needed support to our fringe members who do on a daily basis feel even more marginalised.
Wednesday, 6 March 2013
From here the marathon of performances began. The first half of the show saw PP stalwarts Eddie Halliday, Robyn Steward, Bram Arnold, Captain Spoon and Charlotte Young take to the stage for acoustic and performance art sessions. Then followed a beautiful tribute to Gabriel by jazz singer Sarah Niles with Rob Grundel on keys. For anyone that remembers the Roy Davies Jr, Peven Everett dance floor classic- ‘Gabriel’, Sarah did the most moving version of this.
Tuesday, 5 February 2013
I began painting on Watercolour paper and even managed to do some paintings for my family as Christmas presents. Within 6 months I had "progressed" to painting on canvas using pallet knives in addition to the trusty paintbrush. I was mainly doing abstract paintings as I was finding my way as my art skills developed. In addition to the paintings I was attended free art classes including Jewelry Making & Pottery, skills at which I also became very good at.
I was making jewelry for friends and members of my own family when it came to Birthdays and Christmas.
In 2007/2008? I held my first art exhibition which was covered by SLC in their newsletter at the time. The exhibition was held at BBC Radio Lancashire and we appeared on "Gilly in the Afternoon" hosted by BBC Radio Lancashire Presenter John "Gilly" Gilmore and we discussed my paintings & Autism. In the following years I displayed my paintings whenever the opportunity arose at various events & locations like Worden Arts Centre when I was involved with the now (sadly) defunct Shaw Trust Artworks.
When Pop Group Oasis released the music video "The Masterplan" I became interested & inspired in the paintings of L.S.Lowry who became famous for his paintings of industrial landscapes and of course "matchstalk men and matchstalk cats & dogs". I began doing industrial landscapes and paintings of old mills & houses using an old maths drawing set and acrylic paints. Whenever I was out & about I sometimes took pictures of interesting buildings & landscapes and these became a genesis for some paintings, even though I used a bit of my own artistic licence and continued to do some abstract paintings. I'm a regular visitor to the Lowry Gallery on Salford Quays, Manchester.
Before Christmas 2012 I saw a chance to display my canvasses at Chorley Library and they agreed. The exhibition runs from the 3rd - 16th January but could run until the 31st January.
All the paintings are for sale.
Thursday, 3 January 2013
Maz and his friends on their Snowdonia trek
A VIP tour of