“A Wiki can be an amazing multi-faceted tool that can help people at all stages of life, in different ways.”
Trisha Holmes is Project Manager 0-65 Disability Service at Croydon Council. Trisha is implementing Multimedia Advocacy and Rix Wikis throughout the borough, to support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. She has also set up a post-16 project using Wikis to help young people transition into adulthood.
These are her words:
“Why am I so passionate about Wikis? They are so empowering. A lot of children and young people with additional needs and disabilities are reduced to problems on the page. With a Wiki, you immediately turn the problem upside-down and you actually see the human being.”
“I’m working with parents who have started to develop their Wikis, including one who has a child with complex health needs and who has at least 17 different carers. Her mum could see the value of a Wiki, to show what she can do, how she communicates and to teach the carers how to care for her when they know she’s in pain, or she’s hungry or thirsty. It’s incredibly powerful.”
“Another mum shared her son’s Wiki with us. She explained that Harry can’t have a conversation with anyone easily and won’t look anyone in the eye. But she showed a video of him standing on stage at the Royal Albert Hall, in front of hundreds of people, playing in an orchestra. And that’s the power of a Wiki. Suddenly you look at Harry in a different way.”
Post 16 project
“There’s a group of young people and we want to work with them to provide pathways into education and employment for them. These are young people who would have been sent away to residential schools out of their own community. So they would have to come back and start to re-establish their social network, having lost touch with their school friends and not knowing how to get around in Croydon. So we’re keeping them in the community. They have a formal education two days a week then spend time at the local youth centre learning life skills.
“We’re helping them transition to adulthood. The young people have set up their Wiki, calling it ‘Access to Success’ – it’s a personalised study programme.
“So they are learning practical skills, about being safe, getting out and about, cooking, staying healthy, working together as a team, and making friends.”
Click the video below to see a short video of Trisha Holmes sharing her experience of implementing Multimedia Advocacy and Rix Wikis in Croydon.