We continue to provide support and advice for parents and professionals working with children and young people with vision impairment (VI) during the coronavirus pandemic.

If you have questions or suggestions, please contact us via the Helpline at 0303 123 9999 or email [email protected]. You can also connect through an Alexa-enabled device by saying “Alexa, call RNIB Helpline”.


Update December 2021

RNIB, VIEW and BATOD recognise that, in the current challenging pandemic, providing specialist support to families and children/young people who have a vision impairment and/or are deaf is not totally straight forward. In order to support you in your role and with your invaluable work we have produced the following document together.

Specialist Support during Covid Times RNIB (PDF, 189.26 KB)

In summer 2021, RNIB, VIEW and NatSIP shared their open letters for schools and colleges on coronavirus and education support for children with vision impairment. As before, these set out some specific issues for schools and colleges to consider on meeting the needs of children with vision impairment. 

These open letters are still available to you to share with schools and colleges in your area as appropriate. 

We continue to call on government to ensure that children with VI are able to access learning, either in school or online remotely. Also that alternative arrangements for awarding grades take account of the specific needs of pupils with VI. We're aware that remote learning, digital access and the impact of individual isolations plus potential school closures raise specific issues for children and young people with VI.

Exams and tests

Updated information regarding Summer 2022 exams and the outcome of the Ofqual consultation can be found on our section for education professionals.


Advice for parents

We're continuing to support families affected by the pandemic with a range of advice, guidance and events.

Our Home schooling and technology advice session gave parents the chance to ask questions about access to education during the pandemic and use of access features and access technology. A Q&A document is available in our parents’ coronavirus advice section for follow-up information. 


Sight Advice FAQ

Online guidance, resources and ideas for parents and carers of children with VI is being updated regularly on Sight Advice FAQ, the website which answers questions about VI, eye health or being newly diagnosed with a sight condition. The website includes a section of questions and answers on topics linked to coronavirus.


Specialist support and service provision

Visit the RNIB policy and reports hub for our education policy position statements.

The National Education Union has published advice for teachers on different aspects of working practice.


Training, development and resources

RNIB and VIEW provide a range of online training and development opportunities for professionals. For details visit our events for education professionals section

LOOK webinars

LOOK are offering a series of regular webinars for families of children with vision impairment, parallel sessions for professionals and also online groups for children and young people.

RNIB Bookshare

RNIB Bookshare is a free online service that provides accessible textbooks and resources for learners with sight loss, dyslexia, dyspraxia, autism and qualifying physical impairments.

During this time where so many children may need to learn from home, it’s even more important that teachers and school staff add their learners to their school’s RNIB Bookshare membership. This will allow learners to be independent in their home learning and able to access the resources they need. Please make sure you add your learners.

Support for children at home

Some of our existing resources may be of interest to professionals and families as children are spending time at home:

  • Let’s Play: a guide with toy and play ideas for children with VI.
  • Messy and Muddy: activities to encourage outdoor play and mobility skills.
  • Parties and Playdates: a resource for encouraging social interaction but contains ideas for activities that can be carried out within households. NB: please only use this resource for the activity suggestions, and continue to follow social distancing rules.
  • Advice and links for parents learning braille to support their child as a tactile learner.
  • The Insight archive for articles about supporting different aspects of teaching and learning for children with VI.

Technology

Paths to Literacy offer tips to make group Zoom lessons more CVI friendly.

Dolphin, the assistive technology company, are offering CPD opportunities in relation to the use of assistive technology.


Support from partners and other organisations

We are working with different sensory impairment charities to ensure the most up-to-date information is available to you. For further guidance, please visit: