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SSC Bulletin 27: January 2016

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 News

Braille Tutor
Our colleague, Alison Duthie has retired after 5 years of dedicated service to the SSC Braille Competency Course. We will miss her visits trying to wrangle Braille out of the computers here and her steady stream of stories.

Alison’s successor was appointed in December 2015, Diane McLellan. Diane previously worked with RNIB Scotland’s Transcription Centre as Senior Transcription Officer. Alison and Diane began the handover process last week. We welcome Diane to the SSC team and look forward to working with her.

Visiting Students
This term we have two students at Moray House on an Erasmus exchange who will be connected with the SSC. Ana Kavčič comes from Slovenia and will be researching Speech and Language therapy interventions for children with sensory impairments. Marianna Chrysostomou from Cyprus is studying inclusion.


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SSC is a national centre funded by the Scottish Government (Learning Directorate, Support and Wellbeing) based at the University of Edinburgh.

SSC Courses

Coming up ...

Friday, 22nd January 2016
Social and Emotional Wellbeing and Self-Advocacy for Learners with a Visual Impairment

Tuesday 2nd February 2016
Let me tell you! Story and Narrative Development for Pre-School Children with a hearing loss (Ear Foundation)

Friday, 5th February 2016
Art and Creativity for Children and Young People with Complex Needs

Thursday, 18th February, 2016
Evaluating Listening Skills and Speech Production Skills after Cochlear Implantation

Thursday, 25th February, 2016
Webinar: Early Assessment of Vision in Babies and Young Children

Friday, 11th March 2016
An Introduction to smiLE Therapy (Strategies & Measurable Interaction in Live English)

Monday, 14th & Tuesday, 15th March 2016
Physical Education and Sports for children and young people with Visual Impairments and Deafblindness with Lauren Lieberman (professor at the State University of New York at Brockport in the area of Adapted Physical Education)

Tuesday, 26th April 2016
Habilitation - the early stages (0-5) and MDVI (0-18)

SSC Unified English Braille Competency Courses

Applications for 1st April 2015 are now being accepted. Please submit applications no later than 5th March.


“In Other News ...”

Create a more inclusive world: Rehabilitation International (RI) World conference
The Rehabilitation International (RI) World conference is coming to Edinburgh this year. RI aims to advance the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities worldwide.

Euan’s Guide
Euan’s Guide is a disabled access review site where disabled people and friends, family members and carers share their experiences of accessibility across the country. So far there are over 2300 places on the site across 700 UK towns, ranging from sports grounds and concert venues to more everyday places such as coffee shops and post offices. The site aims to be a positive resource, focusing more on good practice and getting feedback back to venues on things to improve. Euan’s Guide aims to become a go-to knowledge bank on accessibility that will empower disabled people by providing greater choice of places to go, and act as a mechanism for getting their views on accessibility heard. They are particularly keen to hear from more visually impaired or deaf people. It is a new charity, based in Edinburgh.
For more background and to write a review please visit

Safeguarding Webinar
Free Safeguarding webinar why deaf and disabled children vulnerable to abuse. Via BATOD

Getting To Know GIRFEC BSL Series
The Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (The ALLIANCE) Getting To Know GIRFEC Project in partnership with Scottish Council on Deafness (SCoD), Solar Bear Limited, Facilat-46 (Fac46) and Scottish Government have launched a unique five part film series aims to explain Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC). Via the website:
Or on DVD - for copies please get in touch with Derek Todd email:

Deaf Issues

National Advisory Group, BSL Act
Scottish Government looking for BSL users to apply for a place on the BSL National Advisory Group:

Youth National Advisory Group (YNAG) Information Day for Young Deaf People
Deaf Sector Partnership is hosting a Youth National Advisory Group 'Information Day' on Saturday 20 February 2016 at 10.00am-3.00pm, at Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh where all young Deaf people (aged 10-18) in Scotland are welcome to attend. The event will be all about providing information on what the YNAG is about, how to be a member, how to vote for the two representatives, and most important of all, get to know each other. At the event, young Deaf people can sign up for YNAG. The programme will be ready and available sometime next week on DSP website on the training/events page.
DSP website - BSL NAG page:
and look for YNAG information.
DSP website - Training / Events page:

NDCS Weekend for Families with Deaf Children aged 0-2, Edinburgh
Has your child recently been identified with a hearing loss? Then this event may be for you.
NDCS is holding a non-residential family weekend from 27-28 February in Edinburgh. This event is especially for families with deaf children who are aged 0-2 years old.

Rehabilitative Audiology course
An online MSc in Rehabilitative Audiology course is currently being offered by Queen Margaret University aimed at qualified Audiologists to extend their knowledge and expertise.

Deafness & Autism Research project

Would you like to help make autism assessments better for deaf children? A research project want to make autism assessments better for deaf children so that families can be offered the best help, support and advice. They are looking for families with children aged 2-18 years old in the following groups:

  • Deaf children with no Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Deaf children with ASD
  • Hearing children with ASD

If you know a family which would be interested in getting involved, please contact Helen Phillips for more information:

Tel: 01904 294827, Email:, Text: 07779 632335, Web:

Visual Impairment Issues

Guide to your child’s eyes
College of Optometrists have produced ‘A short guide to your child’s eyes’ infographic as part of their Eyes on the Future campaign.

UEB Podcasts
RNIB has produced a series of 6 podcasts about the recent change to UEB. 10 mins each. The topics are: Why Unified English Braille; Contractions; Punctuation; Numbers and maths; Money and measuring; Style and Other characters
A CD containing all six podcasts is also available, call RNIB Customer Services: 0303 123 9999.

International conference on Sensory issues and Disability 2016 - program
INS HEA (The National Higher Education Institute for Teacher Training and Research for Special Needs Education) in partnership with Universcience announce their Paris Conference “Touch to learn, touch to communicate” which will be held 17-19 March 2016 at the Science Museum in Paris. For more information:

As I See it Podcast
A podcast launched in November 2015 hosted by Dr Shawn Maloney, a former vision scientist who is also blind. Each episode discusses topics related to vision loss with invited guests; topics include scientific research, clinical trials, accessible sports, adaptive aids, and much more. For more information visit the website


Web and Resources News

Lately we have been keeping up with the new books coming from the American Foundation for the Blind including the newest offering from Gordon Dutton (with Amanda Hall Lueck) Vision and the brain. We have also bought ECC essentials which addresses the additional curriculum elements that visually impaired children have to learn in order to live independent lives and Reading connections offers a holistic approach to teaching reading to children with visual impairments.

Dominic Everett, RNIB Scotland has written Sharing your journey: a guide for parents of children who are blind or partially sighted which is a general guide to the journey a child with sight loss may take. Gives information on medical issues, entitlements, education, independence and careers.

We also have a new tool designed to help identify how children are progressing with their speech, language and communication, Speech, language and communication progression tool: age 3 was made to be used by non speech and language therapists such as teachers and early years practitioners.

To coincide with our course in March we have just purchased Karin Schamroth’s book SmiLE Therapy: Functional communication and social skills for deaf students and students with special needs.

Congenital Cytomegalovirus and Deafness factsheet
NDCS have updated their Congenital Cytomegalovirus and Deafness factsheet with the support of CMV Action.

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

New library 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



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Scottish Sensory Centre, Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AQ