STAGES: Working in Partnership with Parents of Disabled Children and Young People


What is STAGES?

We know that being a parent of a Disabled child or young person can sometimes be confusing, overwhelming, and isolating. We believe it can also be life-affirming and exciting. Most information given to parents comes from medical or educational professionals. Inclusion Barnet is a charity run by Disabled people. We believe the social model of disability, alongside other approaches, is a fantastic tool to understand the experience of Disabled people and to enable them to live their best lives. The social model says that it is not the condition that makes us Disabled but the barriers in society. That’s why we designed STAGES, a new Pilot project which aims to provide a safe, supportive and empowering space where parents can find out more and walk alongside others in this journey.

The project:

We want to provide a space where parents are empowered with knowledge and guidance around the social model of disability concept with peer support as families are crucial to a young person’s journey. This funding for 6-months is to set up a self-sustainable project with Barnet parents supporting one another going forward.

The project will include four parts:

  1. Educational leaflet – To reach more people in this conversation, including local healthcare professionals, we will co-design an educational leaflet. This leaflet will briefly highlight the impact that the social model of disability can have in parents’ lives, and direct people to resources to find out more.
  2. Online resource page – With parents, we will co-design a supportive and engaging online resource page with information organized by those with lived experience of disability. This resource will offer families an alternative source of information that challenges some of the negative narratives and descriptions.
  3. Social media support group – We will create a social media support group for parents where members can share encouragement and information with other local families, monitored by peers of lived experience.
  4. In-person events – We will run small events between November 2021 and March 2022. These events will have Disabled speakers sharing their experiences and provide an opportunity for parents to share with other parents in a safe and supportive environment. The first event will be via zoom.

Unsure about the term Disabled people? Is this for my child? At Inclusion Barnet we work with anyone who experiences disabling barriers. We use the social model term Disabled people because this gives people the opportunity to embrace their identity. We are aware that other people use other terms. For example mental health issues, Deaf, Long term conditions, Neurodivergence, dyslexia, ADHD, autism, dyspraxia, learning difficulties, Special Educational Needs, physical impairment, sensory Impairment, etc. Therefore if your child is currently facing Disabling barriers in society this group is for you whatever the label.

Please visit our Get Involved page for more information to register your interest and contact details. 

Project background:

Inclusion Barnet has recently been funded by the National Lottery Awards for all to set up a 6-month pilot project called STAGES: Working in partnership with parents of Disabled Children and Young People. The project will run from October 2021 to March 2022 with the aim of becoming a self-sustainable project with Barnet parents supporting one another going forward.

At Inclusion Barnet, we talk a lot about the social model of disability and use our lived experience to help people understand the link between their access needs and social barriers. We have witnessed that this can change people’s lives by changing the way they understand their identity as Disabled people.

We are aware that it is also important that the family and those around them are also part of this journey and have a safe space to explore this for themselves.  Many parents are surrounded by information and insights from Schools/Medical professionals only, who generally use the education or medical model of disability which often focuses on the disadvantages of impairment. Unfortunately, when the social model of disability is not included in these conversations this can at times lead young Disabled people and their families to feel disempowered, alone, and less valuable.

Our vision is to create more Disabled young leaders for the future, who will champion the rights of Disabled people. The Disabled People’s Rights Movement says “nothing about us without us”. Disabled people need to lead in working towards a more inclusive and empowering society. We believe parents have a huge role in this. This is why we have called our parent project STAGES to highlight the many steps involved in empowering Disabled children and Young People, as well as our end goal of hearing more young Disabled voices at the forefront of society.

Resources curated by those with lived experience of disability.

Coming soon

Coming soon.

Get Involved


Our first parent support group is taking place on Friday the 10th of December 2021 at 11am via zoom. Please email Melissa at for details if would like to join us.


We are also looking for parents who would like to volunteer on our social media support group and resource page. Please complete the form below or contact Melissa at

Contact us

If you are interested in being part of this project in any way or have any questions, please complete our information sheet found here.