Urban Echo News 

Bradford libraries get communication tool for people with learning disabilities

A new communication tool for families, carers and health professional workers is now available in Bradford’s libraries to help people with learning disabilities.

Boardmaker is used to create picture cards which can be laminated and used as a communication tool for young people with learning disabilities for whom verbal communication is not an option.

The software has been installed in several libraries across the district; Bingley, City Library, Eccleshill, Ilkley, Keighley and Manningham. It will also available in Shipley library once it has been refurbished.

Professionals, parents and carers will be able to use boardmaker alongside the council’s RSE Additional Needs programme which aims to give relationship and sexual health advice to young people with learning disabilities.

The RSE Additional Needs course is being offered to all Special Schools for professionals, parents and carers.

Cllr Ralph Berry, portfolio holder for Health and Social Care for Bradford Council, said:

“Boardmaker can make an important difference to a young person’s life and improve their quality of life.

“The Council has responded to requests from professionals and carers who highlighted more resources were needed to support parents with young people with learning disabilities at a council forum event.

“This investment from the department of public health will improve the quality of life for families who will now be able to benefit from having this new tool.”

Nicola Hawkins, Health Promotion Specialist for Bradford Council, said:” Boardmaker will allow parents and professionals to create social stories to help explain important information in a way that’s personal to them.

“The symbols will help those with learning disabilities to be in more control, they give them a voice and improve their confidence by enabling them to communicate with others.

“Growing up and going through puberty is hard enough for most teenagers. Using this software will make a real difference to communicating how the changes will impact on young people with learning disabilities through the RSE Additional Needs programme. ”

People wanting to use Boardmaker will have to register at one of the seven libraries but will be able to access the resource at any of the venues.

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