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Teacher and pupil with vision impairment discuss a book in the library

Tips for Reading with your Child with Vision Impairment

From the Little Finger By Mary Lee (2005)

  • Sit with your child on your knee or close beside you and look at the book together
  • Books offer lots of things to talk and laugh about
  • Help your child to be actively involved in turning the pages
  • Take time to talk about the pictures and point out details. Use objects instead of pictures, if appropriate
  • Explain and demonstrate the meaning of unfamiliar words and ideas
  • Use your voice to make the story fun and interesting
  • Children love to read their favourite stories over and over again
  • Give your child time to explore the feels and sounds of a tactile book. (Join the Clear Vision lending library, an excellent source of tactile books)
  • Follow the text with your finger and encourage your child to do the same, with their hand over yours

Learn More

Introduction to Tactile Illustrations and Early Tactile Graphics

Promoting Literacy in Pre-Braille Skills, Braille and Large Print (Video)

[ Modified: Monday, 4 November 2019, 12:31 PM ]
 
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by Learning Hub - Thursday, 31 October 2019, 2:19 PM
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We have a new video resource on Deafblind manual.

Deafblind manual is an alphabet based communication system that uses touch to give and receive information. Deafblind manual is an adapted form of British Sign Language (BSL) finger spelling.

Transcript for Introduction to Deafblind Manual.

[ Modified: Friday, 1 November 2019, 9:07 AM ]
 
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CDT teacher holds box as pupil screws in a screw

We have some brand new resources on supporting pupils with vision impairment to take part in Craft and Design Technology (CDT) classes.

CDT is a subject considered to be one of the most difficult (if not impossible) to teach to blind and partially sighted pupils. Understandably, safety issues are a major concern alongside the perceived value attached to the activity.

The sense of achievement and inclusion for pupils when they participate in the same task as their peers cannot be overestimated.

Watch our videos and check out our other resources on how to support a pupil with vision impairment to create a picture frame.

[ Modified: Tuesday, 22 October 2019, 3:23 PM ]
 
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by Learning Hub - Monday, 23 September 2019, 12:03 PM
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The Royal Blind Learning Hub will be attending the Scottish Learning Festival 2019 on 25 & 26 September.

Come find us in the exhibition hall and say hello.

Sally Paterson, the Learning Hub manager, at the Scottish Learning Festival 2018

[ Modified: Monday, 23 September 2019, 12:20 PM ]
 
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by Learning Hub - Thursday, 19 September 2019, 9:45 AM
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Watch the video and hear one of our learners reflect on their experience attending 'Communication in Practice with Learners at an Early Stage of Development with Vision Impairment and Complex Needs'.

Go to our seminars page and find out what seminars and workshops we have coming up in the next year.

[ Modified: Thursday, 19 September 2019, 9:48 AM ]
 
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A young boy with VI plays with a therapist in a sensory room


10 Tips for Successful Learning for Pupils with Vision Impairment

From the Little Finger By Mary Lee (2005)

  • 1.Use your child’s name before beginning to speak in order to alert them to listening.
  • 2.Give your child plenty of opportunities to anticipate what will happen next, e.g., if you are going to lift them, pause first, with your hands round their middle, and say, “We’re going up”.
  • 3. Try not to manipulate your child’s hands overmuch; their hands act as their eyes and should not be restricted. When demonstrating an action, place your hand or hook a finger under your child’s hand. Allow them control of their own hands.
  • 4. If you are leaving the room, warn your child and say where you are going.
  • 5. Give your child lots of time to explore new things.
  • 6. Instead of using words like ‘here’ and ‘there’ use the words ‘left’ and ‘right’; be specific.
  • 7. Always move from the whole to the parts. Allow your child to explore an object in its entirety before starting to explore individual features.
  • 8. Think about what matters to your child and which senses they use most. Use this in your description of objects and experiences, i.e. talk about weight and texture rather than colour and shape; talk about cold wind and wet rain rather than white clouds and blue sky.
  • 9. Allow your child to explore concepts using their own body e.g. high, low; under, over, through; in, out; big, little.
  • 10. Repeat activities that have to be learned through movement in order to give your child time to internalise and remember the steps in the task.


Learn More

Guidelines for Blind or Partially Sighted Pupils

How to Use Early Years Tactile Resources (Video)

[ Modified: Tuesday, 24 September 2019, 12:21 PM ]
 
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by Learning Hub - Tuesday, 2 July 2019, 8:56 AM
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We will be carrying out some essential maintenance on the Royal Blind Learning Hub website from 2pm, Tues 2 July.

Access to our website will be unavailable during the maintenance window. You will still be able to sign up for our seminars by telephone or email.

 
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by Learning Hub - Wednesday, 26 June 2019, 2:19 PM
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Marg Griffin came all the way over from Tasmania, Australia to attend our seminar on Vision Impairment & Autism Spectrum Disorder: Communication & Learning, which we hosted at the Royal Blind School last month.

Marg, who is State Coordinator for Vision Services in the Tasmanian Government Department of Education, has kindly reflected on her experience, and you can read her thoughts below.


In early May I visited the Royal Blind School Edinburgh to attend the PL course “Vision Impairment & Autism Spectrum Disorder: Communication & Learning”. The course was delivered by Nicola Traynor, Clare Mackenzie (Occupational Therapists with the Royal Blind School), and Heather Robertson( Speech and Language Therapist). Clare, Nicola and Heather provided a comprehensive course; they generously shared their professional knowledge and experience. It was evident that they drew upon current research and “hands on experience” of working with students with complex learning needs. I was warmly welcomed and grateful for the opportunity to establish links with their excellent service.

After the course I visited the Royal Blind School Independent Living residence. The facility offers a range of boarding arrangements for students with vision impairment. It was exciting to see the way in which this residence caters for diverse needs, has highly trained staff and a commitment to developing each young person’s personal independence.

Finally I spent time with Sally Paterson who shared information on the Royal Blind Learning Hub. Our Service has already benefited from the excellent on-line resources which are available via the Learning Hub. So it was such a lovely opportunity to talk with Sally. I am thankful that we can link in to these high quality resources and materials Indeed a continent away the Scottish Learning Hub is a valued learning tool promoting inclusive practices and understanding of the unique learning needs of students who are blind or have low vision.

My thanks to all the team from the Royal Blind School and Learning Hub.

[ Modified: Thursday, 27 June 2019, 4:43 PM ]
 
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by Learning Hub - Monday, 3 June 2019, 11:22 AM
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We will be carrying out some essential maintenance on the Royal Blind Learning Hub website tomorrow, Tues 4 June.

Access to our website will be unavailable during the maintenance window. You will still be able to sign up for our seminars by telephone or email.

 
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by Learning Hub - Tuesday, 14 May 2019, 9:48 AM
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Starting up a Switch Toy Library

By Karen Osterloh, Royal Blind School librarian

Our Library has recently been asked to look after a collection of switch adapted toys sourced by our Speech and Language and Occupational Health Therapists. These are toys that have been adapted to be operated by a switch: particularly useful for children and young people with complex needs.

Types of toy

So far our Switch Toy Library includes a furry monkey that plays a drum, a puppy that sits, walks, barks and performs backflips, a train that blows bubbles, an infinity tunnel, a spinning plastic globe with multi-coloured lights, and a vibrating pillow. We also have a few switch adapted CD/Cassette/Radio players.

White toy puppy with black spots, attached to a swtich

Toy furry monkey that plays a drum

Why do we use switch toys?

Switch toys are great for developing an understanding of cause and effect. With the right toy, pupils can be motivated to press a switch (in whatever way is suitable to them) in order to make something happen. When they operate a switch they are rewarded with sensory feedback in the form of sound, movement, light, vibration or other sensation. Switches can help with teaching many skills such as responding, timing, taking turns, choosing, listening and looking. They also aid social interaction as they enable them to take part in a group activity.

Storing the toys

As the switch adapted toys are expensive, we have added barcodes so that they can be signed out using our Library catalogue in the same way as Library users borrow a book. For storage, they are kept in large plastic boxes. 

Large box full of swtich toys, two monkeys, a puppy and various switches

Further information

There are many websites selling switch adapted toys such as: Inclusive Technology, Explore Your Senses, SpaceKraft and Liberator. There are also websites (Call Scotland, for example) which have instructions on how to make your own adapted toys - if you are handy with electric wiring! For more information about switches see the Call Scotland web page on Switches.

[ Modified: Thursday, 16 May 2019, 9:29 AM ]