series event

Then There Was Silence: The impact of COVID-19 on disabled children, young people and their families in England

Vicky and Audrey cuddling. Child is sitting on a high chair holding a placard that says "love is love". Photo credit: Disabled Children’s Partnership
Photo credit: Disabled Children’s Partnership

Then There Was Silence, a recently published report from the Disabled Children’s Partnership (DCP), highlights the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in England on disabled children and their families. DCP, a coalition of over 90 disability charities, tracked the situation for disabled children and their families over the first 18 months of the pandemic, through surveys and interviews.  

In this session, DCP will report on the key findings from this research, and we will hear from parent carers about their experiences during the pandemic. This will be followed by a Q&A, chaired by the co-director of the International Centre for Evidence in Disability, Professor Tom Shakespeare, who conducted qualitative research with 71 disabled people and 28 disability organisations across the UK during the pandemic. 


Stephen Kingdom 

Stephen is Campaign Manager of DCP and Director of the Pears Foundation Learning Hub. Prior to moving into the third sector, Stephen spent 25 years working in the Civil Service, in the Department for Education and the Department of Health. During that time, he worked on a wide range of policy areas, including being head of Academies policy in the early days of the programme; overseeing school and local authority education funding; and leading the 2014 reforms to special educational needs and disability.

Cath Lunt 

Cath is Research and Evaluation Manager at the Disabled Children’s Partnership, leading the research programme during the COVID-19 pandemic, including Then There Was Silence. She is a parent carer to two children. Cath previously worked as a researcher in the health service and academic environment, with a focus on studies of long-term conditions and the role the third sector plays in supporting people. 

Linda Taylor Cantrill  

Linda is a parent carer and full-time administrator, caseworker and advocate for her 7-year-old twins with complex needs. Linda previously had a career in electronics, contracted to the Ministry of Defence and European hazardous area communication systems projects, before becoming disabled herself due to autoimmune disease and inoperable spinal tumours.  

Rick Bolton 

Rick is dad to 11-year-old Isaac who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy and complex medical needs. Rick has been a qualified Social Worker for 20 years and throughout that time has worked as a practitioner and manager in multi-agency youth offending and children’s safeguarding teams in community and prison settings. Rick is currently the manager of a statutory Safeguarding Children’s Board in the North West of England. 

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Follow recording link. Free and open to all. No registration required.


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