Our pick of the best events for professionals supporting learners with vision impairment

Post date: 
Monday, 25 March 2019
Professionals in training

Check out our list of best conferences, courses and exhibitions to help you further support children and young people with vision impairment.

Partners in Learning – Advanced Certificate for education support staff

For most children vision is the most important channel for communication and understanding, so learning with little or no sight presents significant challenges to established ways of teaching. As a teacher, teaching assistant, support worker or early years practitioner, you fulfil a crucial role in understanding and meeting the needs of a blind or partially sighted learner in your setting.

The next available course will begin in September 2019.

  • Partners in Learning course can provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills to provide a high level of education for the learners with whom you work.
  • Partners in Learning is an in depth training course for teaching assistants and other education professionals working with learners with vision impairment from 0-25. It was originally developed by RNIB and the Open University before being taken over by VIEW in 2015. The course is studied and assessed online over 12 months with two face to face training days. Around 1000 education professionals have studied the course since it was first launched in 2005 and it is the only nationally available course of its kind in the UK.
  • Partners in Learning was accredited as a BTEC advanced certificate at level 3 until 2018,  when BTEC rules changed to require a minimum of 100 learners per year. Because vision impairment is a low incidence special educational need we are unable to recruit such large numbers and have therefore had to relinquish our BTEC status. However, the course itself remains unchanged in its range and depth of content. It continues to receive very positive feedback from students and their employers. In recognition of its excellence, several local authorities have made Partners in Learning a mandatory qualification for teaching assistants employed in their visual impairment support services.

To apply, visit the VIEW website or email [email protected].


The “Effective Teaching of Literacy Through Braille” online training course

When: Six-month online course, which begins in January 2019
Where: Online
More details: Developed by RNIB in partnership with the Department for Education and the National Sensory Impairment Partnership, the course is aimed at qualified teachers of children and young people with vision impairment (QTVIs) to increase their knowledge, skills and confidence in teaching braille to children. The course is written and tutored by QTVIs who are specialists in braille literacy. Those who pass the course will gain a certificate from VIEW, the professional association for the vision impairment education workforce.

The course involves around 80 hours of work and costs £750, with a £100 discount for members of VIEW. To find out more and book your place, please visit the VIEW website or email: [email protected].

Unified English Braille training delivered at your establishment

When: At a time that suits you
Where: RNIB continues to offer the services of an experienced braille trainer who can visit your school or college to deliver a day of training in Unified English Braille (UEB). 
More details: If you're already familiar with Standard English Braille, but want to up your skills to UEB, this bespoke one-day course could be for you. You'll need to be proficient in SEB before enrolling and the course will include a practical element.

For further details visit our one-day literary braille course page.

Online training: Vision impairment and complex needs in children and young people

When: You can apply at anytime to begin and there is a flexible start date.
Where: Online
More details: This short course focuses specifically on children and young people who, as well as vision impairment, also have learning difficulties and other special needs or disabilities. The course has been written by experts in the field and created by an experienced instructional designer. It is studied online over around 50 hours with the pace of learning being set by the student. Students are assigned a tutor who provides “light touch” support. The course is designed for students from any background – education, care or health. It is suitable for professionals and parents, in fact, anyone who is interested in facilitating development in children and young people who have vision impairment and complex needs.

The cost of the course is £200 (£140 for VIEW members). For more information and to apply, visit the VIEW website.

Online training: Understanding visual impairment in children and young people

When: You can begin anytime. There is no fixed start or finish date.
Where: Online
More details: The course is designed to support the training needs of professionals and parents in order to improve the quality of learning opportunities available to children and young people with visual impairment. It is intended for people who wish to gain an overview of the issues involved in supporting the education of children with vision impairment, without studying in the depth required by Partners in Learning. The content is drawn mainly from existing material used in RNIB’s accredited level 3 BTEC "Partners in Learning" course. You don’t need to have access to a child with vision impairment to complete the course – we can supply you with relevant video materials to support you.

The cost of the course is £200 (£140 for VIEW members). For more information and to apply, visit the VIEW website.


Do you have an event to share with other education professionals?

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