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STUDENTS with learning difficulties at Liverpool Community College have created special safety wallets to keep them free from danger when out and about.

Sixteen students studying for Asdan qualifications, discussed the dangers, safe actions that can be taken, and what to do if they get lost when on educational visits.

Tutor Maria Rimmer said: “This was a valuable exercise as it allowed students to recognise their own health and safety risks involved in travel training while encouraging ownership of responsibility for their behaviour and actions.The students felt empowered as they were proactively planning and reviewing their own support.”

Two students created their own safety wallets, which contained visual cues to help them remain safe on a journey they took from college to Liverpool Airport. The creation of the safety wallets were particularly meaningful for the students as they contained personalised real life photographs, widget and board-maker images depending upon the preferred learning style of the student involved. It allowed them to feel more confident in all stages of the journey and to be more aware of their own personal safety.

Tutor Clare Dowling said: “It has given the students more choice, greater independence and enhanced life opportunities by breaking down barriers in accessing local community services such as transport and restaurants. “Prior to using the safety wallets the students had no concept of what to do if they got lost. Peter, who created his own safety wallet, used it when he went to the airport. He said it made him feel safe and that he immensely enjoyed counting the bus stops along the journey.”

The initiative is being overseen by Liz Daw, inclusive learning manager, and is supporting a national Learning and Skills Improvement Service project in which Lin Etheridge from Wirral Metropolitan College, and Anne Price from David Lewis College, are devising resources to support organisations in helping learners in the North West to identify their own support needs Accessible risk assessments for students with learning difficulties at Liverpool Community College will be rolled out to include more students over the coming year. The students are being supported by Connie Windever and Gary Roberts.

Want to find out more? Contact Liz on 0151-252-4085 or e-mail liz.daw@liv-coll.ac.uk