Young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in Devon have been working on an amazing film to urge practitioners and other young people that their voices should be heard, not ignored.

Young people from schools across Devon have devised a video message, #ListenHearUnderstand, which they hope will go viral on YouTube. Mel Webb, Devon County Council SEND Participation Officer, supported the young people to make the film and said “We know that children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities are a seldom heard group. We want young people and workers to see the film as a call to action. Workers need to ask young people about decisions which affect them, be able to listen to them in different ways, then show that they understand. Children and young people need to know that they have a right to be listened to, heard and understood.”

The young people kicked off a launch event on 7th October with representatives from Education, Health and Social Care. After watching the film, practitioners were asked to make a promise to children and young people they work with. The postcard pledges will be reviewed by children and young people in the new year then sent back to organisations as a reminder.

Please take a few minutes to watch the film and share it with colleagues.

three young people sitting on a sofa with understand underneath them