Outreach Support to other schools is well established and children with a visual impairment who attend their local mainstream school benefit from expert advice from Dalton JIN VI Specialist Provision Team. The support is dependent on the level of need and can include: assessment, training of staff and pupils, teaching additional curriculum skills, modification and access to resources, advice on exam access, transition planning etc. The team also uses Oak as a base for training staff from outreach settings.
On the request of a QTVI, central VI technicians are available to carry out ICT assessments and work alongside school technicians in schools. This enables children to have personalised profiles, desktop modifications and access to speech software and a range of accessibility options.
Technical support is offered in the form of staff training, modification of print resources and exam papers and production of tactile resources.
A variety of specialised training courses are offered throughout the year to staff working in schools with children with moderate to profound visual impairment. These are offered on an outreach and ‘in-reach’ basis and cover areas such as: general awareness raising, optimising access to large print, braille and the tactile curriculum, sighted guide, the role of the ETA in supporting a child with visual impairment, exam access and so on.
Peer Awareness Raising
Schools are offered peer awareness raising sessions for the classmates of children with visual impairment. These are designed to support their understanding and promote the independence and self-advocacy of the child with visual impairment.
Family Braille Groups
Family braille groups are held for parents of children learning braille. These are designed to teach the principles of braille reading and writing, how to braille the alphabet and promote tactile methods of learning.
We promote opportunities for children with visual impairment across Kirklees to meet in a variety of social contexts. Eg theatre trips, Actionnaires, creches, goalball training.
Entitlement to a range of access arrangements is promoted through guidance to school staff in mainstream schools and individual work with children. This may involve attendance at tailor made sessions run at Dalton Junior, Infant and Nursery School.
We have close links with local and national charities such as The Primary Club and Lamplighters. This has enabled us to supply a range of specialist resources such as: baby bags, fibre optics, Perkins braillers, mobility aids and sports equipment to children and their families.
Multi Agency Working
We work with a variety of other agencies and professionals such as Opthalmologists, Eye Clinic Liaison Officers, Speech and Language Therapists. The ASD team, physio therapists and occupational therapists. This results in a collaborative approach and individualised programmes for our children.
On the recommendation of a QTVI, children may receive ongoing intervention or a specialised programme delivered by the habilitation specialist and assistant. Areas such as cane skills, independent travel, sensory awareness, spatial awareness and transition are covered.