Our Children, Young People and Families (CYPF) and Education team provides support, information, advice, events and training to families and professionals who are supporting children and young people with vision impairment aged 0-25 years.
We are aware that social distancing and self isolation, as lockdown eases, raises specific issues for children and young people with vision impairment (VI). The RNIB CYPF and Education team have a dedicated mailbox that is monitored Monday to Friday 9am-5pm. If you want to speak to one of our Family Support Officers for information, advice or guidance relating to children and young people with vision impairment please email [email protected] or call our Helpline on 0303 123 9999. You can also connect through an Alexa-enabled device by saying “Alexa, call RNIB Helpline”.
Our home schooling and technology advice session in January enabled parents to ask RNIB education and technology staff about how to support learning at home and use access features and access technology with their child. This Q&A follow-up document gives the questions and answers discussed
If you need advice about supporting your child's learning from your QTVI or Habilitation Specialist, we can help you to reach your local team.
RNIB Bookshare is a free education collection providing textbooks and materials to support the UK curriculum. Our range of accessible formats can be read electronically and adapted to suit the personal reading needs of learners. We now have over 708,000 titles with more being added all the time. Through schools' organisational accounts, individual learners can be allocated their own member account and access the resources they need in a format they can read.
For more more information on RNIB Bookshare visit the Bookshare website.
We have a new series of online events for the summer term. Join us for craft, DIY messy play, summer garden fun and a discussion group for young people about self-advocacy.
The events are a great way for children and young people with VI and their families to make new friends, try new things and engage in some much-needed fun.
Children's newspapers and magazines, such as National Geographic Kids, are available from RNIB Newsagent. A parent, carer or teacher can set up an account by calling our Helpline on 0303 123 9999. The account will be in the child’s name. A subscription to the relevant titles will then be created – there is a selection of braille, eText (email) and audio titles suitable for children, all available free of charge to individuals under the age of 16.
Our library has a specific section for young people, with a large variety of titles available in different formats.
RNIB Shop has varying products for sale that are useful for learning, including curriculum support, literacy and tools helpful when taking notes. Our specialist educational products can support learning from early years to university and beyond.
This is a guide to help you create fun-filled playtimes for your child to develop and explore their senses. All children love to play, but vision is just one way to explore and learn about the world. The toys in this guide have been selected by parents, children and play experts for their tactile, sound, scented and visually stimulating play potential. The guide also suggests ways to create or adapt play activities using everyday items.
For children with vision impairment, playing outside provides the perfect opportunity to stay healthy, have fun and learn about the world. Whether it’s creating a sensory garden, ball games or just playing in the mud, this guide suggests different ways to make the most out of opportunities for outdoor play in the garden at home.
Originally developed as a resource for encouraging social interaction, this guide contains many creative ideas that can be enjoyed by families at home and in the garden. NB: Please use the activity ideas within your own household only and continue to observe the government’s advice on social distancing.
All children and young people can face hurdles and challenges as they grow, live and learn. For advice, strategies and tips on a range of issues, listen to our podcasts about emotional support for children with vision impairment, produced with a Specialist Clinical Psychologist and Fight Against Blindness.
We're working to ensure that children and young people with VI continue to receive the specialist education and habilitation support they need during the coronavirus pandemic.
We know now that exams in all UK nations will not be taking place this summer. We are working with Ofqual and the DfE to ensure the needs of students with VI are not overlooked at this time.
We are continuing our offer of virtual training this term and have details of what’s on offer and how to sign up.
We have information for education professionals regarding coronavirus and the delivery of education and specialist support.
From accessing education to financial help, we’ve got answers to questions about children, young people and families during coronavirus that you can access on our Sight Advice FAQ page. This information is updated regularly. In order for us to provide the most useful advice and support, we would like to hear from you if there are specific issues of concern, particular “how do I” questions or topics that you would like us to focus on so that we can tailor our help in the best way. Please email [email protected] using the subject line “How we can help you”.
Join our community that brings together everyone who is a parent or carer of a child who's blind, partially sighted or lives with any degree of vision impairment. It's a closed group and is a supportive, safe environment where you can share your story, ask questions, get advice and talk about the issues that matter to you and your family. This group is facilitated by the CYPF team.
You could also join a Facebook group to connect with others in your UK region.
Our Living Well with Sight Loss Parent Pathways course is now available for bookings. Join a small group of other parents for a series of online sessions where you can get information, advice and peer support. This course is for parents whose child has recently been diagnosed with VI. The content will include early support and intervention, home life and helping your child to grow and learn, benefits and support services, education provision and accessing specialist support. Find out more and book here.