New RNIB/NatSIP online course in visual impairment and complex needs in children

New online course: Vision impairment and complex needs in children and young people from RNIB & NatSIP (National Sensory Impairment Partnership.)

Participants needed for course pilot starting in January 2017. Reduced course fee!

This new short course focuses specifically on children and young people who, as well as vision impairment, also have learning difficulties and other special needs or disabilities. The course has been written by experts in the field and created by an experienced instructional designer. It is studied online over around 50 hours with the pace of learning being set by the student. Students are assigned a tutor who provides “light touch” support. The course is designed for students from any background – education, care or health. It is suitable for professionals and parents, in fact, anyone who is interested in facilitating development in children and young people who have vision impairment and complex needs.

Benefits of the course include:
• Flexible start date
• Students work at their own pace
• Detailed on-line course material is set over two units
• Activities are carefully structured around self-study, discussion forums and scenario based tasks
• Provides opportunities to connect with others having an interest in this area
• Students compile a portfolio which can be used for future reference
• Leads to a VIEW/NatSIP certificate on completion

Course content

Unit One topics comprise:
• Background & context
• The visual system
• Ocular visual impairment
• Cerebral visual impairment
• Visual acuity & registration
• The correction of vision with glasses
• The other senses

Unit Two topics comprise:
• Practitioners & their roles
• Providing a suitable environment
• Sensory rooms and multi-sensory approach
• Resources
• Communication skills & systems
• Behaviours that may challenge
• Mobility & independence

Entry requirements
There are no specific entry requirements for this course. Students should have basic computer literacy and be able to communicate effectively in written English.

Pilot course
• The pilot course will be open to a maximum of 20 students.
• It will take place between January–March 2017.
• Students will be asked to contribute to a detailed evaluation of the course in order to inform its future development.

Course fee
The fee for the pilot course is £140 per place. This represents a saving of £60 per place over the future fee.

Applying for the pilot course
Please complete and submit the application form at no later than 12 December 2016.

I worked with children and adults with visual impairment and learning difficulties for much of my life. So I am delighted that a course is being developed to help staff and family carers understand the key issues.

As a teenager I spent a brief period with total blindness, followed by partial sight, before my vision returned. It was not a happy experience and I felt confused, isolated and misunderstood.

I feel very strongly that all staff involved with people with identified and unidentified sight problems are helped to appreciate the “meaning” of a visual impairment for each individual - and how the visual impairment impacts upon a person’s other impairment. I still get very cross when people state that the learning difficulty and/or physical impairment is the “major handicap”. Visual impairment impacts on all aspects of learning and development. But for me as a temporarily blind teenager, it was a communication problem much of the time - but not always!