Special Educational Needs & Disabilities

Supporting young people with special needs

Derwent Hill welcomes people with special educational needs and disabilities

Our aim is to ensure that we provide an appropriate and valuable experience for participants with special needs.  We welcome people with disabilities and have made progress towards making our accommodation, grounds and activities more accessible.


The Lakes Wing of the Education Centre has a high standard of accessibility including ramps, a lift, and a well-equipped bathroom.

Some areas of the old part of the Education Centre are less accessible, and we use portable ramps where necessary.

We have an all-terrain electric wheelchair available for use on courses, a minibus with ramp and wheelchair space, and have some specialist equipment for outdoor activities.

Preparing for a visit

To ensure a successful visit organisers must discuss the specific needs of individual children and young people with us at the earliest possible opportunity. In the case of severely disabled individuals, this should be at the time of making a booking so that an informed judgement may be made about whether a visit to Derwent Hill is appropriate.


We are usually able to adapt most of our activities to include young people with disabilities. Operating within tutor groups, we will attempt to differentiate the activities to allow involvement for all individuals at an appropriate level.  However, if this is not reasonably practicable or safe, we will endeavour to provide a parallel alternative activity.

Your aims for the course will help you to decide, in discussion with us, whether it is more important to include the young person in a group’s activities by perhaps fundamentally altering the programme of activities, or to provide a parallel alternative activity if this is practicable.

The carer of a disabled participant is welcome as part of your staff team.  If cost is an issue, you can apply to the Friends of Derwent Hill for a bursary to cover the carer’s costs.

You are welcome to arrange a visit to Derwent Hill before their course for a disabled child or young person and their parents or carers, in order to help to prepare.