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by Learning Hub - Monday, 19 June 2017, 11:05 AM
Anyone in the world

This week's sign is "Brush Hair."

On-body signing is a technique used to communicate with people with multiple disabilities and visual impairment. The Royal Blind School in Edinburgh developed a form of on-body signing called Canaan Barrie.

A different sign will be posted on our blog each week. Come back next week to see a new sign.

[ Modified: Monday, 19 June 2017, 11:05 AM ]
 
Anyone in the world

This week's sign is "Dress / Get Dressed."

On-body signing is a technique used to communicate with people with multiple disabilities and visual impairment. The Royal Blind School in Edinburgh developed a form of on-body signing called Canaan Barrie.

A different sign will be posted on our blog each week. Come back next week to see a new sign.


[ Modified: Monday, 12 June 2017, 10:09 AM ]
 
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by Learning Hub - Monday, 5 June 2017, 9:53 AM
Anyone in the world

This week's sign is "Shower."

On-body signing is a technique used to communicate with people with multiple disabilities and visual impairment. The Royal Blind School in Edinburgh developed a form of on-body signing called Canaan Barrie.

A different sign will be posted on our blog each week. Come back next week to see a new sign.


[ Modified: Monday, 5 June 2017, 9:54 AM ]
 
Anyone in the world

By Lauren Lockhart, Languages Teacher, Royal Blind School.

Read part 4 of the blog.

The importance of sight

Everything we do requires sight, or so it seems. Reading bus timetables, choosing which cereal we get, surfing the internet, reading a book, I could go on. We never stop to think what it would be like to be without vision, not to be able to see where you're going or somebody's expression. I work with some inspiring individuals who, one way or another, have managed to find a way to do all these things with a little help from technology. You can surf the internet on a Braille Note, listen to an audio book, read Braille on cereal packets, use echo location to find where you are. For each of the many things that we say require vision, there is a solution for those without. Thankful for technology and Louis Braille.

Different types of learner

We have all heard of different types of learner: visual, auditory, kinesthetic. In a blind school, we can rule out 'Visual', although I will come back to that. In my school, there are many different types of learner, of which I was not at all aware before I started working in VI education.

Vision

There are different types of vision impairment. Some pupils cannot see at all, some only see with their peripheral vision, some in their central, some only see dark and light, some had vision, some have been blind from birth. This has enormous implications for teaching. A child who had some vision has more visual memory than a child who has been blind from birth, or different visual memory. For example, the first child might have seen a scorpion on TV or on the internet so has a visual memory of what it looks like. The second child will probably never have felt a scorpion (unlikely) and so has no frame of visual reference unless someone has described it to them. Even then, it depends on the person's description as to whether the child can visualise a scorpion in the same way, do they have anything to compare it to? So, when I am teaching a foreign language, I have to be aware that the pupils' experiences of the words they are learning will vary greatly.

Braille skills

Each pupil is at a different stage with their Braille. It should not be assumed that every blind or visually impaired child knows Braille. It is a skill acquired like anything else, much like learning a foreign language. It requires practice, a good memory and discipline. This, again, has enormous implications for teaching. In some cases, it cannot be relied upon as a medium for the lesson, in which case, the learner has to become auditory. So, sometimes, we don't have the option to be the learner we would like to be.

Impact of the visual impairment

Last but not at all the least. Each pupil responds differently to their visual impairment. It can have enormous impact on a child's self-esteem. Some pupils accept their impairment and work with it. Some work against it and require a great deal of sensitivity and skill on the part of the teacher. I can’t begin to imagine what it feels like to be blind.

“The mind’s eye”

In short, pupils vary greatly in mainstream education. In the VI world, they vary even more. Every child should be treated individually and, thankfully, there are educational settings which give them the specialist attention they need. I said I would come back to the idea of a 'visual learner'. I have come to realise, through my experience so far in the world of VI, that a blind person can be a visual learner. The same area of the brain, which is used by sighted people to see, lights up when a blind person imagines something in their mind's eye. There is as much possibility of a blind person 'seeing' an object as a sighted person seeing it. This understanding involves a combination of description and ‘felt’ information. I work a lot with the spelling of French words. Spelling is very visual and requires the learner to visualise the letters to send the signal to the hand to write. As a blind person reads the word in Braille, they use their fingers to visualise the letters. It allows them to translate reading to writing. If you describe something to anyone, they create the image in their head. For example, if I described a monster with three eyes, four noses, six mouths, we would all have some visual reference in our mind's eye, one probably quite different from the next but an image all the same. There is no underestimating of the mind's eye and a teacher in VI should learn wholeheartedly to harness that but also be aware of its limitations for a blind pupil.

[ Modified: Tuesday, 20 June 2017, 5:10 PM ]
 
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by Learning Hub - Tuesday, 30 May 2017, 9:31 AM
Anyone in the world

This week's sign is "Bath."

On-body signing is a technique used to communicate with people with multiple disabilities and visual impairment. The Royal Blind School in Edinburgh developed a form of on-body signing called Canaan Barrie.

A different sign will be posted on our blog each week. Come back next week to see a new sign.

[ Modified: Tuesday, 30 May 2017, 9:32 AM ]
 
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by Learning Hub - Monday, 22 May 2017, 10:53 AM
Anyone in the world

This week's sign is "Wash."

On-body signing is a technique used to communicate with people with multiple disabilities and visual impairment. The Royal Blind School in Edinburgh developed a form of on-body signing called Canaan Barrie.

A different sign will be posted on our blog each week. Come back next week to see a new sign.


[ Modified: Monday, 22 May 2017, 10:55 AM ]
 
Anyone in the world

Earlier this month the Royal Blind Learning Hub ran an Introduction to Habilitation and Mobility Skills course with expert habilitation staff from the Royal Blind School.

This event was free to any educators including teachers, support staff, classroom assistants and informal educators, who wanted to find out more about teaching visually impaired pupils.

Participants were encouraged to evaluate how they currently teach and assist a child or young person with a visual impairment safe travel skills.

They will have left the event with a deeper understanding of what it means to have a visual impairment and how to support their visually impaired young people.

You can see some photos from the course below:

Feedback included:

“ I feel basic training has been covered to an extremely high level, everything was so relevant”

“ I will always be mindful with explanations and vocabulary when working with pupils with visual impairment “

“The best thing about the day was being able to take away practical skills and a much better understanding of how to be a guide”

We will be running a full programme of seminars and training days in 2017/18 and details will be announced on our seminars page.





[ Modified: Friday, 19 May 2017, 12:16 PM ]
 
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by Learning Hub - Thursday, 18 May 2017, 3:23 PM
Anyone in the world

The Royal Blind Learning Hub is pleased to announce its programme of seminars for the 2017/18 year.

All events are FREE and will be held in Edinburgh at the Royal Blind School unless otherwise stated.

Please note some dates/times may change and will be confirmed when booking opens.

Seminars and Workshops 2017-18

  • 12 September 2017: Canaan Barrie signing workshop
  • 21 September 2017: Vision Impairment Maths and Science Curriculum Day
  • 28 September 2017: Vision Impairment Awareness Raising Training – Glasgow
  • 5 October 2017: Vision Impairment Awareness Raising Training – Perth
  • 10 October 2017: VI and Autism Spectrum Disorder: Communication and Learning
  • 26 October 2017: Early Years Tactile Graphics
  • 2 November 2017: Vision Impairment Awareness Raising - Carlisle
  • November 2017: Eye Gaze Training (TBC)
  • 14 + 15 November 2017: An introduction to pre braille skills and a consideration of approaches to teaching braille and braille technology
  • 25 January 2018: Using drama techniques and sensory stories to explore real situations and provide opportunities for inter disciplinary learning. Incorporating mindfulness into the curriculum
  • 7 February 2018: Communication in practice with learners at an early stage of development with vision impairment and complex needs
  • 20 February 2018 (TBC): Physical education and activities for pupils with vision impairment and complex needs
  • 7 March 2018: Collaborative practice in art and music supporting children with vision impairment

Once booking is open for these seminars they will appear on our seminars page.

If you would like to express an interest in attending any of our future seminars please email learninghub@royalblind.org

Or call us on 0131 446 3128

[ Modified: Monday, 22 May 2017, 11:44 AM ]
 
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by Learning Hub - Monday, 15 May 2017, 11:38 AM
Anyone in the world

This week's sign is "Shopping."

On-body signing is a technique used to communicate with people with multiple disabilities and visual impairment. The Royal Blind School in Edinburgh developed a form of on-body signing called Canaan Barrie.

A different sign will be posted on our blog each week. Come back next week to see a new sign.

[ Modified: Monday, 15 May 2017, 11:39 AM ]
 
Anyone in the world

We are very pleased to launch two new online courses to the Learning Hub website. These courses are aimed at teachers of Maths and Science who would like to learn about the teaching and examination of these subjects for pupils with Vision Impairment.

The courses have been developed by the Royal Blind Learning Hub using material produced by the Scottish Visual Impairment Maths and Science Group. They assume little or no prior knowledge of the teaching, or examination, of Maths or Science for pupils with visual impairment.

Learners will find lots of valuable information on adapting materials, accessible technologies, planning experiments and the SQA requirements for examinations. There are interactive quizzes to help you learn the material and if you complete 70% of a course you’ll be entitled to download a Certificate of Completion.

Try a course now.

[ Modified: Tuesday, 9 May 2017, 12:23 PM ]
 
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