SpecialKidz is an educational social enterprise organisation that aims to diminish the digital divide. Children with special needs have mental and physical challenges that make learning an especially difficult ordeal which most children never experience. However, these problems in delivering education are being reduced with the use of the latest assistive technology. SpecialKidz’ project plans to present interactive workshops in primary and secondary schools, presenting children and schools the latest software and equipment, which has been specialised to help learning become an easier and more enjoyable experience. SpecialKidz is situated in London Road Campus and is friends with charity organisations such as Deafax, Deaf Aspirations, and Ability2Access. It is also part of GOALS4LIFE (formerly AVERIL).

SpecialKidz International is a project that has been recently resurrected and as part of the re-vamp of Speci@lKidz, the website for the charity has been completely redesigned including new developments such as a donations and volunteer’s page to boost support. The launch of the new website should commence in the next few weeks, along with a Facebook and Twitter page to keep people updated. SpecialKidz is at the moment investing in the latest technology software and equipment in readiness for the beginning of the next academic year. SpecialKidz is presently organising a training programme for Psychology and Speech and Language Therapy students in preparation for second year placements. Training will include how to use specialised equipment and software, how to plan a fun and creative learning environment for children with special needs as well as a Stage 1 BSL (British Sign Language) qualification.  Although SpecialKidz is focusing on Psychology and Speech and Therapy placement students to take part in the training, the programme is open to any student in the University to join. Once trained, students will go into schools and in pairs deliver workshops that help assist children with special needs to develop their learning abilities and improve their standard of education.

However, if there are volunteers in the university who would like to help but do not wish to be a workshop leader or co-ordinator, we also have different part time roles available. Volunteers who would like to help with events managing could join the team and gain some great work experience with SpecialKidz. It is our intention to hold a fundraising silent auction this year and we would love to have others get involved. We also have other sectors that people can volunteer to help in, including finance, marketing and advertising, fundraising and more! Volunteering at SpecialKidz can count towards a student’s Red Award and we are waiting to confirm from the Student’s Union that from the beginning of the next academic year, SpecialKidz will be associated with the University’s RAG society.