An exciting new project, RIP:STARS which is run and controlled by young disabled people, has issued its findings on the quality of Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) and whether they meet disabled children and young people’s rights.
RIP:STARS, which stands for ‘Research Into Plans: Skilled Team with Ambition, Rights and Strength’, was funded by the Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning (DRILL) programme and wanted to find out whether the EHCPs actually prepare disabled children and young people for independent living and help them achieve their dreams for the future. The project is also unique in as much that it is run and controlled solely by young disabled people from Coventry, who were trained in research techniques by Coventry University.
Speaking in the report, a member of the team said: “We have been involved in all of the stages of the research process, from coming up with the questions that were asked in the interviews and group discussions, to doing the fieldwork with professionals, carers and disabled young people. We have also looked at and analysed the information we collected and have developed recommendations from our research findings.
“We have also learned about the Social Model of Disability. This means not seeing young people just as a label such as autism or dyslexia, not treating everybody with that condition in the same way, and instead focusing on removing the barriers that restrict us as disabled young people. We have used the Social Model of Disability in our research. It was important for us to understand the social model to be able to do the research. We wish we had known about the social model when we were younger and are questioning why we were not told.”
As part of this project the Alliance For Inclusive Education (ALLFIE) have provided training sessions where the young researchers have learnt about their rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). Before this project they had little information about their rights as young disabled people, but now they feel that they have the ammunition to fight back and make changes.
The full RIP:STARS report is available as a downloadable PDF.