Talking about tomorrow


P – T

Partnership Matters

Guidance from the Scottish Government to all agencies involved in supporting people with additional support needs who wish to study at college or university. Outlines roles and responsibilities with a view to removing barriers to education and training.

Permitted work

Allows someone to test their capacity to work or gain new skills. If this is within a set number of hours a week it does not affect benefits.

Person centred planning

An approach to planning that identifies how someone wants to live their life and what needs to happen to make that possible. It looks at the person as a whole and takes into account their dreams, hopes and fears as well as skills and qualifications.

PIP or Personal Independence Payment

A welfare benefit that helps with the extra costs of living with a long term condition or disability, no matter your income or savings.  It can be claimed on top of other benefits, such as Employment Support Allowance. You can also move into employment and still be eligible for PIP.

Positive destinations

This refers to what young people do after leaving school. The Scottish Government requires schools to increase the numbers of young people going on to a “positive destination”, which normally means employment, further education, or training.

Powers of Attorney

Powers granted by an individual to another person to help them manage their affairs or communicate their wishes if they lose the capacity to act for themselves. It allows someone to support or speak for the individual in matters relating to finance, health and welfare.


People like teachers, doctors, social workers and support workers who provide the services someone uses.

Project Search

Provides employment and learning opportunities for people with a disability through supported internships and work experience.

Reasonable adjustment

Changes to the work or study environment that allow disabled people to work safely and productively. What is considered “reasonable” is defined by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

SAAS or the Student Awards Agency for Scotland

Gives financial support to eligible students doing a higher education course in the UK. Handles applications for the Disabled Student Allowance.

SCVO or Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

Source of information on roles within Scotland’s charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises.

SCQF or Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework

Helps learners and employers identify the level of learning reflected in the different qualifications and learning programmes.

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

The final stage for complaints about most public bodies in Scotland.

Section 23 Assessment

The assessment carried out for children to determine their needs and the support they require to thrive.

Self Directed Support (SDS)

An approach to providing support services that is person centred and offers flexibility over how services are provided. Payments are made from an agreed personal budget to buy the services someone needs.

SHANARRI indicators

These refer to the eight indicators of wellbeing identified by the Scottish Government. They should underpin all decisions and actions in relation to a young person. Every decision should ensure they are Safe, Healthy, Achieving, Nurtured, Active, Respected, Responsible and Included.

Skills Development Scotland (SDS)

National Scottish agency for advice and support in career planning and development. There are offices across Scotland. Many have staff specifically designated to advise people with disabilities or additional needs.

Social enterprises

Businesses that operate with a view to bringing about social change. Many provide volunteering or employment opportunities for disabled or disadvantaged people.

Support package or social care package

A combination of services to meet someone’s needs as identified through a formal assessment, along with an agreed budget to pay for these.

Supported businesses

Businesses where over 50% of employees have a disability of some kind.

Supported courses

Courses specifically tailored to students with additional support needs, often with a focus on developing skills such as independence, self confidence, employability and self awareness.

Supported employment services

Local services that include individual profiling to identify work possibilities, job matching with suitable opportunities, and ongoing support and advice for employers and employees. More information is available from the Scottish Union of Supported Employment.

SWF or Scottish Welfare Fund

National scheme to provide financial help for people on very low incomes in crisis situations or at times of severe financial pressure.


A time of change. On this website, we use transition to describe the process of changing from being a child to becoming an adult. Transition can take a long time and will probably involve leaving school, financial changes, different kinds of support and decisions about the kind of life someone wants.

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