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Difficulties with using the internet

Why has Hackney's put it's information about local services and support for children and young people 0-25 with special educational needs and / or disabilities on a website and not made a printed version?

This is because information for different people aged 0-25 with a range of additional needs and or disabilities is substantial. The service directory where you can find out about individual services and the help and advice articles which describe process that more that a few service are involved in have already grown to over 1000 pages.

Not ALL of this information is relevant to everyone who will use Hackney's Local Offer website all of the time but children and young people will interact with a range of services and support on their journey through all the stages of childhood into adulthood.

Information made available digitally can be offered in different formats for those that find visual information more helpful. Some entries have videos which explain more about what the service does or how a process works. We aim to add these where we can. 

Providing information digitally means services are able to keep updating information on a website in a way that would not be possible if it was printed in a guide or booklet. Services locally and nationally are changing and what they offer also changes.

Professionals working with families and young people have been given training on how to find information on Hackney's Local Offer website. This means that many professionals will be using the site to give you information and may be able to help you find the information you need. 

We are getting very positive feedback from services and professionals that this is working. They are saying the website is allowing them to find and share information quickly with families and young people. 

Other borough have also made the decision to publish their local offer digitally. 

We do understand that not everybody finds getting information from a website easy.

We try to help people overcome difficulties using the internet by providing the following options. 

Page last updated 30/07/18

What if I don't use the internet?

We understand that some people who need this information may not be able to access it by using the internet for a variety of reasons.

Because there is a lot of information that must be kept up to date providing information digitally is the most effective way of doing this.

This does not mean that you cannot access it if you don't have a computer or internet access. 

Professionals in education, health and social care services and many third sector, community or charity organisations have received training on how to use the website to help people their services work with directly who may find accessing information digitally. 

Many services operate drop in sessions where it is possible to speak with professionals from the service about your situation directly. 

We regularly send information to schools and health settings to display or be aware of and pass onto parents/carers and young people. 

Ask professional working with you, your family or child or young person to help you find or print information for you.  

Can I contact Hackney's Local Offer in writing?

Yes.

You can leave letters or messages for the attention of the Local Offer Coordinator at Hackney Learning Trust reception. They will then either direct you query to the appropriate service or contact you in the preferred way stated in the letter.

Hackney Local Offer Coordinator

Hackney Learning Trust

1 Reading Lane

Hackney

E8 1GQ

I would use the internet but I do not have access to it?

There is a shortlist function where you can save the specific information you have searched for and then print it at the end of your session. If you do not have access to a computer you (or someone on your behalf) can print off relevant information in hard copy. This can be done from any computer with a printer. There are computers available in Hackney for the public use.

Where can I access free public computers?

You can find information and a list of venues and location on where you can get free access to the internet and computers on Hackney Councils' website: https://www.hackney.gov.uk/internet-and-computers

Public computers are also available for use at the following places:

  • The Resource Centre - Hackney Ark (dedicated knowledgeable staff can assist you to find information about SEND services and support) 
  • Children’s Centres  

Where can I get Local Offer information printed out?

  • The public computers at Hackney Learning Trust reception on the 2nd Floor
  • Your child or young person’s school 
  • Hackney Ark Resource Centre
  • Information can be printed at Libraries but there may be a charge for this

Who can help me?

Professionals who are working with you or your child or young person including:  

  • School staff
  • Information, Advice and Support Services - SENDIAGS - Phone: 020 7275 6036
  • Family Liaison/Family Support workers e.g. at specialist schools or Children's Centres
  • Keyworkers
  • Social workers
  • Plan coordinators
  • Health care professionals
  • Staff at Hackney Ark -  Resource Centre - Phone: 0207 014 7006
  • Other parents/carers - other people who understand what you are going through are a great source of help and support. HiP Hackney Independent Parent Carer forum run drop in sessions at Hackney Ark and can be contacted by phone on: 0798 5739 851
  • National services and helplines like Contact - Freephone: 0808 808 3555
    9.30am-5pm, Monday-Friday; free from UK landlines and UK mobiles

Is there anyone else who can help me?

Because of the range of information on the website we would strongly encourage using the internet wherever possible.

If you are not confident with technology or do not have a computer but are willing to use it, it is the best way to access the information.

Staff at The Resource Centre at Hackney Ark are available to help you find information about services and support using Hackney's Local Offer website on your behalf.

Once you contact a service listed on the Local Offer it is highly likely that a member of staff will contact you to discuss your situation and your child's needs but do let them know that you are not able to use the internet so that they are aware that digital information would be an unhelpful way for them to provide you with information you want.  

Face to face training and support to use the Local Offer website...

If you have questions or need help understanding how to use Hackney's Local Offer website or help to search for information on the website you can get 1:1 training and support during a Local Offer surgery. 

The Resource Centre at Hackney Ark

At these surgeries the Local Offer Coordinator will show you to how find the information from the website that you need.

The Local Offer Coordinator is not a case worker and will not be able to advise you about individual situations. 

These face to face sessions are also attended by other relevant services who may be able to assist parents and carers:

Sessions currently run on the last Tuesday of the month 10:00 am - 12:00 pm but SENDIAGS stay until 2pm.  

We have attended school open evenings to make information available and answer questions from parents and staff. 

We have delivered training in schools at parent/carer coffee mornings. 

We can recive e-mails and queries through the website inbox but will be directing families and others to information that can be found on the website.

If phone contact details are included in the contact request depending on the nature of the request we may be able to contact people by phone.  

Hackney Family Information Service have a telephone helpline for families who need information about childcare and can help with a range of other questions. 

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