Talking about tomorrow


A – E

ACAS or Advice, Conciliation and Arbitration Service

Provides information, training, advice and conciliation services for employers and employees to help avoid problems at work.

Access to Work

Support from the UK Government, including financial support, to provide extra help in the workplace if you’re disabled or have a health condition.

Activity Agreements

Individual support to prepare school leavers aged 16-19 who are not in a job, education or training for their next steps. Can include life skills, anxiety and behaviour management, and skills development.

Advanced education

Education beyond school to degree or diploma level.

Advanced Highers

An optional further qualification within the Scottish education system, normally taken by students aged 16-18 who have completed Highers.


Support from another person or organisation to help you express your wishes and views, and to stand up for your rights.


A person granted the right by the Department of Work and Pensions to manage  benefits and finances for someone who can’t act for themselves through disability or other impairment.

Assessment of needs

Looks at a person’s physical, mental and emotional needs to determine what support they need to thrive.

Assistive technology

Equipment or devices that help someone live more independently or improve their quality of life. Can include apps and adapted software as well as aids and equipment.

Basic skills courses

Courses covering essential skills including reading, number work, IT,  communication and working with others. May or may not lead to a qualification.

Benefits adviser

Someone with particular knowledge of current benefits and the benefits system, who can inform and advise you on eligibility and help you make the best decisions for your circumstances.

Benefits cap

The limit the UK Government has set on the total amount of income a household can receive from certain benefits.

Blue Badge

Supports people who can’t get around easily by allowing them to park closer to their destination, often in restricted areas.


The ability to make and understand decisions based on relevant facts and considerations, and to act accordingly, usually in relation to legal or financial matters.

Carer’s Allowance

Money to help you look after someone who requires care, subject to eligibility criteria and your income.

CSP or Coordinated Support Plan

Plan laying out a young person’s specific needs, the goals set for them and what support they will get. It is usually put in place by the school and it is legally binding.

Carer’s Allowance

Money to help you look after someone who requires care, subject to eligibility criteria and your income.

Child Disability Payment

Introduced in 2021 to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for disabled children under 16 in Scotland.

Child’s Plan

Sets out the extra support someone under 16 needs, including for example health care and respite, and who is responsible for providing this.

Community Care Assessment

Review of personal circumstances and needs of an adult, carried out by social services with a view to identifying the support someone needs to thrive.

Continuing Power of Attorney

Appoints a person to make decisions or act in legal and financial affairs for and on behalf of someone who needs support to do this for themselves.

Direct Payments

Payment by the local social services department to someone with agreed support needs, to enable them to choose and pay their service providers.

Disability Confident Employers

Employers who have signed up to the UK government’s Disability Confident scheme to provide work opportunities for people with disabilities of all kinds.

DEA or Disability Employment Advisors

Available in many Jobcentres to provide advice and support to disabled people looking for work or training opportunities.

DLA or Disability Living Allowance

Former benefit for disabled children under 16. Since 2023, it has been replaced by the Child Disabilty Payment.

DSA or Disabled Students Allowance

An additional allowance to help with some of the extra costs of studying with a mental health problem, long term illness or disability.

DWP or Department of Work and Pensions

The UK government department responsible for welfare payments and benefits.

EMA or Education Maintenance Allowance

Financial support for 16-19 year olds who meet the eligibility criteria and want to continue studying.


The qualities and skills that make someone more likely to find or stay in work.

Equality Act

The law that protects people from discrimination or unfair treatment on the basis of personal characteristics, including disability.

Equality Advisory and Support Service

Provides information and advice about discrimination and human rights issues.

ESA or Employment and Support Allowance

A benefit for people who are out of work through illness or disability.

Getting in touch with the Contact helpline

The Contact helpine provides information, advice and support by phone, email, Facebook or Twitter. We support parents and carers who have a child with any kind of disability or special need from 0-25 years. Find out more about Contact’s Helpline service and how to get in touch.



Useful links


Parent and carer support networks can be the best sources of local information and advice. Download our list of networks, or contact us to ask about support groups in your area.

Local and National Services that can help

We have produced 5 directories which list local and national organisations that can help with support around transitions. Find out more on our Directory pages