Monday, 6 September 2010

A personal responce from Ed Balls MP

Hi there a week or so ago i recieved a email from one of Ed balls's team about my question on blind and visually impaired issues well today i have just been sent a personal email from the man himself. I'd like to thank him personally as not often you get a top MP taking time out to answer your question personally. I had already voted for Ed in the labour leadership contest, but this just reaffirms my belief that Ed is a man of the people and understanding to all parts of society.

thanks Ed

here is the email he sent me

Dear Mark,

Thank you very much for getting in touch with my campaign, you asked about benefits for the blind and visually impaired, and if there was still a place for specialist schools and colleges, we are sorry that it has taken some time to get back to you.

As SoS, I took a particular interest in issues facing young disabled people and people with SEN. I introduced policies to try and remove barriers that young people face so they could achieve and enjoy life to the full. I believe that young people with visual impairment still face many hurdles in our schools and colleges and in my last few months of office, I was very pleased to secure a late amendment to the Equality Bill which placed a new duty on schools to provide additional aids and services to disabled students in order to assist their learning without the need for an SEN statement. I hope this will eventually be extended to post 16 provision but the Coalition Government has yet to decide whether to do so. The current duty would include young people with visual impairment in schools. On your second point, I believe that young disabled people have a right to access high quality further education and specialist colleges are vital part of the network of provision that currently exists for young disabled people, I support young people going on to further education in both mainstream and specialist colleges and will as part of my campaigning, uphold the right of young people to access the education provision that is most appropriate to their needs.

I hope that this answers your question.

Best wishes,

Ed Balls

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