Siarad Da is a non-profit organisation, founded by Dr April May Kitchener. Siarad Da provides support to the most vulnerable in our society to overcome persistent barriers to social inclusion.
Siarad Da supports those with communication and learning disabilities who have experiences of the Criminal Justice System (CJS) and social exclusion whose behaviour often presents as challenging. This behaviour can lead society to judging a person and not looking behind the behaviour. Not looking behind the behaviour results, for many, being mis-diagnosed or receiving no diagnoses of disabilities including, Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) leaving individuals and families immediately disadvantaged.
Our critical aims are:
- to promote understanding and skills in those working with this vulnerable group
- to improve the whole-life outcomes of those living with communication and learning disabilities
We achieve our aims by:
- ∗ delivering training and mentoring
∗ providing guidance and advice
∗ carrying out research independent reviews and consultation
∗ providing face to face work with individuals at risk of social exclusion
∗ supporting families directly
What we do:
- train professionals working in education, health, CJS, social services and voluntary sector to develop tools that will enable them to be more effective in their communication and management of clients;
- support individual children, young people and adults who struggling to appropriately express their needs and support them to better understand consequences and expectations;
- engage with families to better understand the difficulties faced by loved ones with communication and learning disabilities.
Dr April May Kitchener – Director
April May is a retired specialist head teacher passionate about improving and promoting opportunities for children, young people (C&YP) and adults labelled as ‘challenging’, ‘vulnerable’ and ‘hard to reach’; those at risk of social exclusion. Her expertise in working with the most challenging C&YP and their families, means she is in demand to deliver training days, workshops and key notes.
April May has had a diverse career spanning over 35 years. Her experiences are multi-disciplinary that include roles with Social Services, CJS and Education as a specialist teacher and head teacher. Her passion and commitment has influenced professionals from all sectors to reflect on their own practice and look ‘Behind the Behaviour’.
April May’s specialist knowledge and skills have seen her contributing to radio and TV documentary programmes, as well as working with legal professionals to improve understanding of offenders and victims with communication and learning disabilities.
She was a member of the Steering Group for the National Behaviour and Attendance Review in Wales. She is currently Welsh Secretary for National Organisation for Pupil Referral Units (prus.org), National Organisation for the Treatment of Abusers (NOTA) and sits on the Welsh Steering Group of ‘StopitNow’ (Lucy Faithful Foundation).
Her research interests are: safeguarding, vulnerable offenders, and social and school exclusion. April May is registered with British Psychological Society (BPS) and an associate member of Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT).
April May’s specialist academic knowledge and practitioner experiences, skills and sense of humour ensure that her work with others is always engaging and informative. She has a proven record of successfully leading professionals who work with C&YP with challenging and offending behaviour. She is able to communicate ideas and theories that allow others to take responsibility and make behavioural changes.