A new national framework has been launched today to underpin and unify the specialist education of children and young people with sight loss throughout the UK.
The Curriculum Framework for Children and Young People with Vision Impairment (CFVI) will support those aged up to 25 to access an appropriate and equitable education.
As well as traditional school academic subjects, children and young people with vision impairment also need to be taught a range of independent learning, mobility, everyday living, and social communication skills. Currently access to these, and the specialists who teach them, can vary from region to region, meaning many young people are missing out.
The new framework has been developed by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), VICTAR - University of Birmingham, Professional Association for the Vision Impairment Education Workforce (VIEW) and Thomas Pocklington Trust.
The organisations plan to engage with government education departments across all four UK nations to ensure the framework reaches every child and young person with a vision impairment, either by being referenced in official guidance or receiving statutory status.
The framework is built around 11 teaching areas and its main aim is to define what elements of specialist skill development, interventions and best practice support should be considered essential.
Around 4,000 children and young people are estimated to be living in sight loss in Scotland.
RNIB head of education Caireen Sutherland said: "We are delighted to have been part of this vital project which has resulted in the launch of the Curriculum Framework for Children and Young People with Vision Impairment. It has been a fantastic cross-sector collaboration and development.
"Having the CFVI in place will provide a structure and best practice reference for families, young people and professionals alike to refer to in order to advocate for the input a child or young person needs and deserves.
"We hope the framework will ensure all children and young people with vision impairment get access to the specialists and opportunities to develop skills they need, and that this in turn will improve their life outcomes."
The eleven teaching areas of the CFVI are: Facilitating an Inclusive World; Sensory Development, Communication; Literacy; Habilitation: Orientation and Mobility; Habilitation: Independent Living Skills; Accessing Information; Technology; Health: Social, Emotional, Mental and Physical Wellbeing; Social, Sports and Leisure; Preparing for Adulthood.
Find out more about the Curriculum Framework for Children and Young People with Vision Impairment (CFVI).