A post about blogging isn't really my thing. The closest I've got to posting about blogging is about these awards or here - and even that was really about whether a post could make a difference to the perceptions around my kids' various conditions.
This is the first year there has ever been awards just for UK bloggers who write about Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). In some ways this relatively small blogging family is no different to others. We share our stories, we hope people read them. And like many bloggers we support each other.
We write passionately although it can be in subjects that are very sensitive. Most of us are in some way hoping to affect some sort of change in the world be that via a particular campaign, raising awareness of conditions or what it's like to be 'that family'. I feel both part of a larger blogging tribe and this smaller more niche community in the year or so I have been blogging. And it's maybe because of this I've been delighted in what I've seen as the past week of nominations and finalists announcements.
I'm part of a wonderful, growing, supportive community. SEND Bloggers offer so much and do so much good. Here's how I know:
- People are finding hope from SEND Bloggers all the time. I'm a finalist in the Newcomer category but there were several bloggers nominated in this category that couldn't be finalists because their blog is over a year old. In fact some bloggers nominated in this category have been blogging for several years. Conclusion - people think they've found a new blog that they like, that helps them, thats informs them about SEND, even though it's actually been going for years. More people are finding support from SEND Bloggers - fab!
- Nearly 50 SEND Bloggers were nominated in the Promoting Positive Perceptions category. I love this! Its a category about changing the way people think about SEND for the better, it's forward looking and it's brilliant. If there are nearly 50 SEND Bloggers out there promoting positive perceptions of SEND enough to be nominated, then we are winning guys. This is undoubtedly my favourite category
- Now for some slightly odd things, nearly all the finalists with me in the Newcomer category have a connection with autism. You might think this is a negative thing, I don't necessarily think so. I think, like in the last year we've had Steve Silberman's Neurotribes come out, that there has been a bit of cultural shift and parents are concerned not just about raising autism awareness but also autism acceptance and perhaps this is one of the reasons there has been an influx in this area. This is great and next year we may see other SEND highlighted in a similar way.
- Those nominated and the finalists in the Campaigning for Change category are awesome and again these awards are highlighting their vital and constant crusades to make the world a safer, decent and better place
- SWAN's are well represented across the categories - if you don't know what they are then it's all the more better that they are being highlighted in the categories here.
- At least one SEND Blogger is a finalist in three categories. This goes to show the great breadth and depth that some SEND Bloggers go to engage, connect and support their readers. It's no small feat to be a finalist in 'the truth about SEND' at the same time as the 'SEND with a side dish of humour' categories