The impact of visual impairment on learning development and access to learning cannot be understated. WESC’s embedded Specialist VI or Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI) curriculum gives learners the skills and knowledge to interact and actively participate with their learning.
To meet this basic and underpinning need, all learners have their VI needs assessed in the following areas:
- Visual skills training – VI trained staff conduct Functional Vision Assessments (FVAs) and use these to identify specific needs and for proving intervention and habilitation strategies for difficulties such as visual fields deficits, Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI) and poor visual acuities (near or long sight).
- Tactile awareness and skills training – understanding the haptic sense and the importance of learning through touch. This involves developing all the pre-Braille/Moon skills that are not ‘just learnt automatically’. If a learner has a good sense of tactile awareness, they have the potential to use this for learning. At WESC we develop tactile skills that learners can use to ‘read’ objects, images and other tactile stimuli.
- Access technology – all learners will have had an Access Technology assessment prior to placement at WESC and this will be used to identify whether a learner will require training in the use of screen reader/screen magnification software, Braille or other input devices or adaptations to personal computers. Stand-alone pieces of VI-specific technology such as a Braillenote and CCTV as well as more conventional equipment such as a Dictaphone, iPads or digital technology are also considered and training provided in their use.
- Keyboarding – all learners with the physical ability to use a keyboard will receive basic ‘keyboarding’ tuition to promote familiarity with standard keyboards and layout and shortcuts. Those who are able will also receive ongoing tuition in Touch Typing, at an appropriate level.
- Braille and Moon tuition – learners can receive one-to-one input with qualified Braille and Moon teachers as well as ongoing support from subject teachers and class based staff.
The Specialist CVI Curriculum, will be rolled out across the Dart Stream, focusing on individual outcomes relating to all pre-learning functions, including the following:
- perceptual systems
- executive functions
- emotion and motivation
- expressive and receptive language.
How can we adapt our curriculum for children and young people with visual impairment?
We have a wealth of expertise and experience in providing Braille, Moon, Large Print and other alternative format materials for those who require them. We run one-to-one touch-typing and access technology tuition as well as formal training in a wide range of assistive technology such as screen magnification/screen readers and Voice Output Communication (VOCA) devices.