Why do blind and partially sighted children and young people need support from specially qualified teachers? Take a look at the evidence here...
Cuts to specialist support services have the potential to dramatically affect the support children with vision impairment receive, and how well they do at school and in later life.
RNIB collects data on local authority vision impairment (VI) education services so that we can monitor changes to provision for children and young people. See the 2020 findings from our annual Freedom of Information (FOI) research reports.
Our information leaflet ensures that local authority officers understand the importance of maintaining specialist education services for children with vision impairment even when budgets are tight. It also explains the legal implications of changes that reduce specialist support.
At RNIB we would be pleased to advise local authorities on the issues raised in this document.
RNIB has worked with local authorities to identify case studies of effective and innovative practice in the delivery of specialist vision impairment services for children and young people.
Case study: ‘Vision for learning’ building VI expertise in special schools, an effective practice case study: Bradford vision impairment (VI) service.
This case study describes a model of working between the specialist VI education service and special schools, to support pupils with VI in special schools.
Case study: Joint working across education, health and social care effective practice case study: Bedford Borough vision impairment (VI) Team.
This case study describes a model of joint working across education, health and social care teams, to support children and young people with vision impairment and their families.
Case study: Children and families officers effective practice case study: Leeds Sensory Service Visual Impairment Team.
This case study describes how a team of children and family officers (CFOs) work with early years children in the family home, as well as supporting early Braille readers in primary school.
Case study: Transitions and further and higher education effective practice case study: Surrey Physical & Sensory Support post-16 service.
This case study describes how specialist teachers and support staff in Surrey provide support for young people with VI on transition from school and in further and higher education settings.
This section provides useful information to underpin the need for specialist services for blind and partially sighted children. Details of the legislative and statutory framework and quality standards regarding the support of children with vision impairment is available from VIEW (the professional association of the vision impairment education workforce.)
Provides a detailed evidence base of the effects of childhood vision impairment and gives recommendations for ensuring effective educational support and teaching practice.
Brings together research evidence on effective practice in teaching literacy through braille in mainstream settings. The findings are presented to be of practical use for teachers in their approaches to the teaching of literacy through braille to young children.
This section contains resources to assist VI services in providing evidence of the added value they contribute to the outcomes for blind and partially sighted pupils. The Quality standards for special educational needs support and outreach services - Department for Education (2008) makes the important point that services can take equal credit with schools for the progress of learners they support.
The National Sensory Impairment Partnership is developing tools to assist services with benchmarking clear outcome measurements for children and young people with sensory impairment in order to show the value added by their input. Visit the NatSip website to read more about outcomes benchmarking.
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