Guide Dogs for young people and Buddy Dogs for children and young people with a visual impairment.
Overview of the service
Guide Dogs provided universal mobility support for blind and partially sighted people across the borough. Our staff are experts on mobility, and give advice, guidance, assessment and training for those considering a guide dog as a way of gaining independence. Simply give us a call and we will talk to you, informally and confidentially, to help you decide if a guide dog might be suitable for you. Our staff understand how severely people’s independence can be affected by sight loss, and they can explore the best way of meeting your specific needs. If a guide dog is not felt to be suitable, they may be able to advise on other ways to help you maintain your independence and make the most of your existing mobility. Either way, there’s nothing to lose and potentially much to gain by exploring all the options.
Communication and interaction needs
Cognition and learning needs
Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
Yes - Our young people's services are aimed at children and young people who have a visual impairment. Our services provide for those children, who alongside their visualimpairment, may also have communication and interaction needs, dual sensory loss, physical, health and social needs.
Specific or complex health needs
Categories of need
5-7, 8-11, 12-15, 16-18, 18-20, 20-25
Who we provide for
Monday-Friday 9am-5pm Term time and holidays
What we do
1) Guide Dogs:Our staff provide expert advice, guidance, assessment and training for young people considering a guide dog as a means of independence. We've no removed the lower age limit for guide dog ownership and are working with those under 16. Further information is available at http://www.guidedogs.org.uk/services/guide-dog-services/applyforaguidedog/guide-dogs-for-children-and-young-people/general-info/2) Buddy Dogs:Buddy dogs are guide dogs that haven't qualified to work as mobility assistance dogs but can improve the quality of life of blind and partially sighted children and young people by contributing to sensory and physical development, enhancing their confidence and self-esteem, countering isolation and depression, increasing levels of exercise and improving their communication and mobility skills. In some cases a buddy dog can help to assess whether a young person could benefit from a guide dog in the future. Further information about our buddy dog service is available at http://www.guidedogs.org.uk/services/buddy-dogs
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
Only staff, including Guide Dog Mobility Instructors, who have specifically received children and young person's training work with those under 18 years of age.Qualified Habilitation Specialists (CYP Mobility Instructors) carry out initial service information visits and assessments alongside.
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 Habilitation Specialists 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.Guide Dogs have a dedeicated safeguarding team and strictly adhered to safeguarding policies and procedures. Guide Dogs is a registered charity and our services are regulated by the Charities Commission.
Referrals can be made directly by the parents/family, GP or other health visitor, independent living team, school, voluntary agencies and young people's supportunits. 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 (subject to assessment). 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 can take place at various locations, dependant on need, mainly in the service users local area.
Wheelchair Access, Accessible toilets, Secure environment, Physical adaptations (such as hand rails), Accessible parking, Our Service is delivered in the home
Communication methods used
Signs and symbols, British Sign Language, Braille
Respite & Support
Education and childcare
Childcare & Early yrs, Learning from home, Colleges & Post 16, Transition
Leisure and play
Sport & fitness, Friendships & relationships
Preparation for adulthood
Getting involved, Independent living, University and work, Staying healthy, Getting around, Being an adult, Travel training
Communicating with parents and carers
Information is available in various formats.Programmes are 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 and their feedback to staff is very welcome.
Is the service fully accessible?
Our service largely takes place within the child or young person's local area. 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. Our registered office is accessible as noted. We have staff and many visitors to the office with a visual impairment and therefore the setting is well adapted.