Support services for children and young people with a visual impairment, including Movement Matters habilitation training, family support, education support, access technology and CustomEyes® books.
Overview of the service
Blind Children UK is the leading charity for children and young people with sight loss.We help children and their families tackle the challenges of young sight loss so that they can enjoy their childhood and realise their potential as adults.We believe that no child should feel isolated and afraid or be deprived of a full life just because they can’t see. We help children and young adults with sight loss to be all they can be, and to live as independently as possible.The services we deliver support children – and their families, too – right from birth through to young adulthood. Our aim is to enable the whole family live life to the full, so we also give parents tools they can use to help their children reach educational and recreational goals.
Communication and interaction needs
Cognition and learning needs
Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
Our services are aimed at children and young people aged 0-25 who have a visual impairment. Our services provide for those children who alongside their visual impairment may also have communication and interaction needs, dual sensory loss, physical, health and social needs.
Specific or complex health needs
Categories of need
0-2, 3-4, 5-7, 8-11, 12-15, 16-18, 18-20, 20-25
Who we provide for
Monday-Friday 9am-5pm throughout term time and holidays
What we do
1) Our Movement Matters service provides training in mobility, orientation and independent living skills to help blind children and young people get around safely and confidently. These vital services are delivered by our qualified Habilitation Specialists, who work shoulder-to-shoulder with other organisations, including local authorities. Further information is available at http://www.blindchildrenuk.org/how-we-can-help-you/movement-matters/2) Our Family Support team provides emotional and practical support, advice and information. 3) Our Education Support team is on hand to help children and young people with sight loss to get the best from their education. We can assist with identifying a suitable nursery, school or college, and provide confidential advice around a child’s statutory rights. We explain complex terms and help with processes and forms. We’re also experienced at liaising with professionals on families’ behalf and acting as expert witnesses.4) Our Access Technology team gives advice on choosing the most appropriate technology and sensory equipment to help children with a vision impairment study and play. We also offer a grants programme that allows families to apply for recommended items they otherwise wouldn’t be able to access.5) Our CustomEyes® service produces tailor-made large print books for children with vision impairment.
Is there a waiting list?
Are there any taster sessions?
Do you need a support worker?
Can you take your support worker with you?
Does parent / carer have to stay?
Is parent / carer allowed to stay?
Can siblings attend?
Staff SEND skills
All staff are qualified Habilitation Specialists or Habilitation Assistants and are trained specifically to work with children and young people with a sight loss.Staff are also trained in paediatric first aid.
Have staff had safeguarding training in last year?
Staff Disability Awareness trained in last year?
Are staff trained in specialist interventions?
Are there staff trained in manual handling?
Assessing child safety
Staff to child ratios are currently very supportive of different needs such as challenging behaviour and additional health implications. All Movement Matters staff are accredited with MISE (Mobility and Independence Specialists in Education) professional body. They are fully trained to work with visually impaired children and young people and their families. Our team have a great deal of experience of working with children and sight loss, in a wide range of environments including local communities, education settings, early years groups and the home. All staff have undergone rigorous pre-employment checks and have up to date DBS checks in place.Our mobility programmes are very carefully planned and thought out, and are developed alongside the child and their parents/family. Before activities are carried out, staff will be completing risk assessments and environmental audits to ensure the child's safety.Assessments are carried out before a programme is undertaken and every effort made to understand the individual child's sensory and/or additional needs to safeguard them when learning their new skills.
Referrals can be made directly by the parents/family, GP or other health visitor, independent living team, school, voluntary agencies and young people's support units. Self-referrals can also be made. If your specific service type is not mentioned here please do contact us to enquire further.
Deciding who can use the service
Our elligibility criteria is universal and available to all children and young people with a visual impairment. Once a referral is received a general service information visit can be carried out to discuss the support services in more depth. Our team would be happy to talk through any of our services further if more information is needed before making a referral.
Is there a charge for the service?
Direct payments, Personal budgets, Care package from LA, Own funds
Activities / training for Movement Matters service take place at various locations, dependant on need, mainly within the child or young person’s home, school and local community.Other services such as Family Support and Education Support may utilise our registered office.
Wheelchair Access, Accessible toilets, Our Service is delivered in the home
Communication methods used
Respite & Support
Funding and Direct Payments, Emotional Well-being, Advocacy, Support groups and Voluntary Organisations, Support and family members
Education and childcare
SEN Support, Childcare & Early yrs, Learning from home, Schools, Colleges & Post 16, Transition
Leisure and play
Clubs & activities, Things to do
Preparation for adulthood
Getting involved, Independent living, Parents, siblings and Family carers, Money, Getting around, Travel training
Communicating with parents and carers
Information is available in various formats. Our staff work alongside other professionals to support any additional communiation needs, for example the child's Learning Support Assistant within the school, or family member within the home.The Movement Matters programme is designed so that involvement and decision making alongside parents/carers is a key aspect of the service. Parents will receive full and timely copies of assessments, paperwork and visit records and their feedback to staff is very welcome. Staff are proficient in Grade 1 Braille.
Is the service fully accessible?
Our service takes place within the child or young person's education setting, home, or local community. We welcome all children and young people with visual impairment and all our services are inclusive of their sensory and/or additional needs, as well as the families. As part of our service we audit and make recommendations to other settings such as the child's school around their accessibility and inclusion.Where visits to our registered office are needed, perhaps for appointments with Family or Education support, the building is fully accessible. We have many visitors with a visual impairment and therefore the setting is well adapted.
Our staff work to ensure all of the children and young people we work with receive the support they are entitled to or will benefit from. Blind Children UK will support children and young people through every step of their journey and can provide help and support during the transition period within education. Staff can provide training to other professionals, for instance school staff within the child's education setting, to ensure they are fully equipped to also ensure inclusion.Blind Children UK promises to be there for children and their families from the challenges of obtaining an initial diagnosis, through to the journey into adulthood. We have products and services to support them every step of the way.