Parents and care professionals attended a Royal Blind Learning Hub day of talks about the transition of young people from school to the adult world.
Tuesday’s information-packed Learning Hub seminar on the transition into adulthood for young disabled people included talks by experts including heads of charities, legal experts and social workers.
An information fair gave parents a chance to chat to experts about the options available for their child on a one-to-one basis.
Among those attending the event was former Royal Blind School student, Amy Henighen, who is now a part-time receptionist for SENSE.
Amy, who left the school in 2012, said: “It’s great for parents to have the chance to talk to people about the options for their children.”
View the programme for the seminar.
We are delighted to have received a grant from the RS MacDonald Trust to run three further seminars this year and to buy a training kit of equipment to take to all our events.
The funding will enable us to run three awareness raising seminars in locations across Scotland for mainstream teachers and support staff who teach visually impaired or blind students and children.
The report on the Attainment of Pupils with Sensory Impairment issued by the Scottish Parliament (September 2015) states that "while we support the presumption of mainstreaming, we are concerned by the views expressed to us that some pupils with sensory impairment are not receiving the support they need in mainstream schools." Other views given include that "additional training should be provided for all teaching staff in mainstream education"
These courses aim to give an overall view and experience of some of the day to day challenges of young people with visual impairment in the school environment. They will combine theory with first-hand experience of the issues in order to help teaching staff gain a greater understanding of the barriers and enhance their confidence in supporting their pupils.
The course will be repeated across three venues - likely to be Glasgow, Inverness and Edinburgh. Staff can attend which ever venue suits them best. The events are free and include refreshments and a buffet lunch.
Watch this space for dates and venues! Email email@example.com and we can contact you when dates are confirmed.
On 9 February 2016 the Royal Blind Learning Hub will host its next seminar on the transition from school to adulthood for young adults with visual impairment, including those with other disabilities.
The seminar is free and will be of particular interest to parents and carers of visually impaired and blind pupils, as well as relevant education professionals. It will take place at the Royal Blind School in Edinburgh.
The day will begin with Scott Richardson-Read from Action for Real Change talking about the seven principles of transition. There will be several workshops covering the law on guardianship, transitional services available and GIRFEC - Getting It Right for Every Child.
Transitional services on offer include:
In the afternoon we are delighted to welcome Margaret Orr, Chair of the National Commissions Group for education provision for children and young people with complex additional support needs.
There will also be a Transition Fair with information available from a wide range of organisations including:
This week the Royal Blind Learning Hub ran our first seminar, which was on creating tactile graphics. Interactive learning resources play an important role in teaching children and students who are blind or have problems with vision.
We were delighted to welcome education professionals who teach visually impaired children who wanted to know more about how to create tactile education resources for them. We had early years practitioners as well as subject teachers including maths, music and geography.
Teachers from the Royal Blind School presented to share their expertise and there was a workshop to practise skills learned.
Sharing knowledge on areas such as teaching aids, lesson plans and classroom activities when working with visually impaired or blind students is extremely valuable.
"All very useful, especially simplifying diagrams."
"Always good to have the opportunity to have dialogue with others."
"Content clear, well delivered with an opportunity to ask questions."
"Being blind-folded and asked to walk around the room is a real eye opener!"
Today Scotland's largest visual impairment organisation launched a new service to support teachers in mainstream schools who work with visually impaired children. This covers teaching strategies as well as looking at appropriate learning resources.
Royal Blind, the charity that runs the Royal Blind School, launched the Learning Hub at an exhibition stand at the Scottish Learning Festival. The Scottish Learning Festival attracts teachers and other education professionals from across Scotland.
Sally Patterson, Royal Blind's Learning Hub Manager said:
"We were delighted with the response we had at the Scottish Learning Festival. Our stand was busy all day with teachers coming up to us and asking for support with teaching visually impaired children.
"Our new service, the Royal Blind Learning Hub, is here to provide help and advice to any teacher or education professional who has a visually impaired child in their classroom. Today we launched our website www.royalblind.org/learninghub with free resources teachers can access. In 2016 we will be holding some free seminars to provide teachers with the skills and knowledge that they require to teach and support children with visual impairment."