University of Edinburgh

 SSC Bulletin 25: January 2015

Sharing information with everyone who is involved in the education of deaf children, deafblind children and visually impaired children and young people, the young people themselves and their families.

 SSC Courses

Building Positive Skills

In November, Gwyn McCormack presented 2 courses for SSC - one in Edinburgh and one in Aberdeen. Evaluations from both courses were very positive and attendees went away keen to try out some of the ideas they have learned.
Having the course in Aberdeen, tailor-made for the “Northern hub” (Aberdeen city, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Dundee city and Moray), on an inservice day allowed 65 staff to attend and was an ideal opportunity for staff to network.. The SSC is in discussion with Gwyn to look at further training she can provide in Scotland in the future.

Some responses from the Aberdeen course:
“Great resource which can be used to improve independence skills and outcomes for learners with a sensory impairment.” --- “Course excellent, thank you.” --- “Will work more closely with ALL team members to focus on what support is required, how and why.”

Coming up ...

Thursday, 29th January 2015 (6-8pm)

Film Nights with connected baby: Edinburgh

Hosted by the Scottish Sensory Centre, for
The screening will be followed by a discussion - because insights are better when they are shared. Dr John Ravenscroft, Co-ordinator of the Scottish Sensory Centre and Depute of Moray House School of Education, will be on hand to lead that discussion. Anyone interested in exploring the theme of human connection is welcome to join us, including the many professionals who work with caring for and providing services for children and adults.
This event is currently full but Connected Baby welcome more opportunities to host film nights across the UK.

Friday, 30th January 2015 - FULL

iPads in the Classroom for Learners with a Visual Impairment

This one-day course will look at how an iPad can be used by learners with a visual impairment in both a primary and secondary school environment to access the curriculum. Areas that will be covered include: Accessibility features in iOS8; Linking an iPad to an electronic whiteboard; Voice control, eg, Siri; Magnifiers; Scanning; OneDrive; Content and non-content filled apps.
Practical demonstrations will be used and participants are encouraged to bring in either an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch if possible.
Restrictions: Places are restricted to 15.
Presenter: Matthew Carr, Blindability, West Midlands.

Braille Competency Course

Contracted UEB applications are now being accepted for a 1st April start.

 SSC News

2014 in Review

It has been another mammoth year for SSC, we’ve seen lots of changes and new developments. Here are just a few:
March - BSL Glossary developments including a whole new Astronomy section
May - Let Me Play DVD launched
May - Getting IT Right for Pupils with Visual Impairments launched
August - Janis Sugden retired as Co-ordinator
September - New Co-ordinator: John Ravenscroft
October - New CPD organisers: Alison Buchan seconded from Aberdeen School for the Deaf and Jacqueline McGuire seconded from Angus ASN (Visual Impairment) Service
October - New Research Associate Membership & SSC website refresh

Let It Snow

As you will be aware for the last 6 years we have held a children’s art competition to create a design for our Christmas Card. Iliyana Nedkova, who is a visiting scholar at Moray House working with the art collections housed here, was so impressed when she saw them she asked if she could curate the winning entries into a virtual exhibition. This was held over the festive season on the SSC website and on the information screens on campus. Iliyana will be working with us in the coming year to enable better accessibility for the art collections at Moray House and we look forward to working with her and sharing the results.

Reaching for the Stars

A wonderful opportunity to see Audrey Cameron, Gary Quinn and Tania Johnston at the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh - "Reaching for the Stars" on BSL for Astronomy will be held next week, 13 January 2015, at 6.30pm (Organised by EdSign Lectures)

 "In Other News ..."

Home supporting: Leave your toys in the car

After the very successful course held at SSC by Lyndsey Allen, Ear Foundation, we are working in collaboration with her to deliver more courses in Scotland. Lyndsey is back in Scotland to deliver this Home Supporting course in Kilmarnock on the 10th February. Booking for this course should be done through the Ear Foundation. We will have information on further courses SSC will be delivering in collaboration with the Ear Foundation soon.

British Sign Language (BSL) Bill

In connection with the scrutiny of the BSL Bill, the Scottish Parliament has launched a BSL Facebook Group page. This can be accessed at the links above and by signing into Facebook. Please Share the page, sign up to the Group, and start posting comments!

In addition the Scottish Council on Deafness (SCoD) now has a FAQ on the BSL Bill:

Doran Newsletter 3

Newest edition is now out and includes articles on Enquire’s new 'Find a Service’ which was a recommendation of the Doran Review and is now available; Local Commissioning; Independent Schools sector; and Doran updates -

Visually impaired musicians' lives: Conference 2015

The visually impaired musicians' lives (VIML) conference will take place on Tuesday 10th and Wednesday 11th March 2015 at the Institute of Education, University of London.
The conference will comprise speakers on various areas of visual impairment and music from across the world, in addition to musical performances by visually impaired musicians. This is set to be a very exciting event that you can attend as a delegate, speaker or performing musician. To register for this free event please visit the Eventbrite website. Places are very limited and there will be a waiting list:
Organisers would also welcome responses to an online survey from visually impaired adult musicians of any type (amateur or professional):

Cerebral Visual Impairment in Children: A Practical Approach

A reminder about this very useful online course on CVI created by Professor Gordon Dutton. Hosted by Emerald Education Systems - purchase is required.


 Library News

The website has been refreshed this term and we would welcome your comments as we iron out any glitches. Our aim is to develop a focus on the research that is being done into visual impairment and deafness so that practitioners can support their children backed up by the latest information.

There are big changes afoot with the RNIB’s stable of magazines for example Insight and NB, these will soon be exclusively available on the RNIB website. To sign up for alerts when new issues are available:

Tip: Remember to check the journal articles database when searching for information.

New items are available to browse on the website:

All of these items and many more are available from the SSC Library contact Sheila Mackenzie (0131 651 6069 or