CDC are delighted to announce that 16 disabled young people have been chosen to be part of the Department for Education's Young People's Advisory Group called EPIC, which stands for Equality Participation, Influence, Change. This group will advise the Government on the Special Educational Needs and Disability reforms in the Children and Families Bill. The first meeting took place on Saturday 27th October at the Department for Education (DfE) where the group discussed its goals, ways of working and nominated representatives for the Department for Education's National Advisory Group, a group of experts and stakeholders who will advise the Government on the Children and Families Bill.

EPIC also have a Facebook Page where other disabled young people can answer questions about different aspects of SEN reform and leave comments about issues that are important to them. If you work with any disabled children or young people then this is a great opportunity for them to influence the SEN reform process.

Selection Process

CDC received over 150 applications from disabled young people and those with special educational needs from across the country, which highlights disabled young people's passion and enthusiasm to influence decisions that affect them.

The selection process for the advisory group has been extremely demanding, and all the applications were very strong. We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who applied and were interested in the group.

Thirty-two young people were invited to an open day at the Department For Education on 13th October to find out more about what the advisory group is about and what young people want it to achieve. Everyone contributed to a successful day, and it was very difficult to chose a final group. Congratulation to the 16 who were chosen, who all have different skills and experiences and will be great advocates for the issues for disabled young people.

Getting Involved

E.P.I.C. is only one of the ways that the government want to work with disabled young people. The DfE want to make sure that disabled children and young people not involved in the group still have the chance to have their say on the SEN and Disability reforms.

CDC will be working with E.P.I.C. to look at ways to promote their work and talk to other disabled young people through a special E.P.I.C. section of the CDC website.

For other ways of getting involved in participation check out the Making Ourselves Heard Network, which has links to a range of opportunities and resources for disabled children's participation.

Please get in touch with Pamela Shaw at pshaw@ncb.org.uk for more information. 





Df E August 2012