Charity highlights importance of habilitation training following latest research

Post date: 
Monday, 4 April 2016
Maggie Edmunds

Blind Children UK recently surveyed 152 local authorities in England to review their habilitation services. The report of their findings, Time to Move, revealed that services were “patchy” and the needs of children and young people with vision impairment were not being met.

Maggie Edmunds, chair of HabilitationVIUK, responds.

“The ‘Time to Move’ report comes at an exciting time in the world of habilitation, a continually developing profession with many years history of teaching children and young people with visual impairment. Habilitation is provisioned through local authorities, private practitioners, and in more recent times by the addition of Blind Children UK. Its focus is on maximising the potential for independence of a child/young person, through the teaching of skills and strategies to support mobility, orientation, independent travel and daily living. 
The delivery of habilitation training should take account of many factors; to differentiate between the varying degrees of vision impairment, reflect the needs over time not just in the short term, and allow for transition and other key times in the life of the young person. Habilitation can’t assume that all young people with vision impairment require habilitation at all times, or that all young people with vision impairment require habilitation. The criteria for delivery is under review, with National Sensory Impairment Partnership criteria currently in development.
HabilitationVIUK was not involved in the Blind Children UK survey. However, as the professional body for habilitation practitioners in the UK (holding the national register), HabilitationVIUK welcomes any attempt to raise awareness of habilitation, provision of services, and funding for training/delivery.
The aims of HabilitationVIUK include establishing and maintaining the standards within the profession; it recognises the importance of practitioners working in partnership towards the best possible outcome for children and young people.”

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