University of Edinburgh

 SSC Bulletin 22: March 2014

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 - Coming up ...

Friday, 21st March, 2014 (This Friday!)

Everything you wanted to ask an Ophthalmologist but were afraid to ask

This is a unique opportunity to put your questions to a leading paediatric ophthalmologist. Dr Andrew Blaikie is the lead for Children's eye services in NHS Fife and co-lead of the National Managed Clinical Network for children with visual impairment. This course will be interactive, beginning with a presentation on various eye conditions from a medical perspective, and concluding with a Q&A session - Andrew will do his best to answer your questions in jargon-free language.

In the afternoon, the implications of visual impairment relating to a child's development and learning will be considered. Participants will discuss case studies with a focus on how their additional support needs may be met. This is an excellent opportunity to exchange knowledge and understanding of visual impairments and strategies that can be used to overcome issues related to the child's needs within the educational environment.

You are invited to send in your questions for Andrew Blaikie along with your application form in advance of the course.

Target Audience: Anyone involved in supporting children with a visual impairment within mainstream and specialist provision, health professionals, parents and carers.

Thursday, 1st May, 2014

Developmental Journal for Babies and Children with a Visual Impairment

The Developmental Journal for Babies and Children with Visual impairment was developed at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and designed to provide a tool to help families track and understand the development of their visually impaired children in partnership with the professionals who work with them. In this course participants will be given an overview of how vision develops in the early years before going on to investigate how the Developmental Journal can be used with families and professionals.

Previous course participants have said:

"This will be an excellent tool to assess where a VI young child is at in the different development stages and where the next steps are."

"The Journal itself; what a superb resource. It will provide a framework and structure to work from when I get sent out on peripatetic contact."

Target Audience: Teachers, parents, carers and professionals supporting very young visually impaired babies and children.

Presenters: Janis Sugden, Co-ordinator, Scottish Sensory Centre and Lorna Hall, VI Consultant, Curriculum Support Group, SSC

Coming soon:

Friday, 13th June

Attachment in the care of people with a visual and intellectual disability: theory and practice

Dr Paula S Sterkenburg, Assistant Professor, VU University Amsterdam and clinical psychologist, Bartimeus, The Netherlands


 SSC News

Positive Play for Everyday: Experiences of Scottish Families with Deaf Children (0-5)

We are nearing completion of a companion DVD talking to parents of young children who are deaf. Parents discuss the key issues and we introduce documents which can help parents of deaf children in the early years. Please let us know if you would like a copy of the second DVD.

BSL Glossary of Astronomy Signs

Audrey, Gary and the team have been busy creating a whole new section of the Science glossary on Astronomy. It caused a sensation in January with BBC's Stargazing Live (@BBCStargazing) and we were mentioned on the news! Visit the website to see and learn the new signs:

Closure of Visual Impairment Scotland (VIS)

Over the years, VIS has made an immense contribution to the world of visual impairment and its work will continue to influence the education of children and young people with a visual impairment. However, funding for this project has ceased and VI Scotland is in the process of decommissioning. As a means of ensuring continuity of service provision, in May 2013 the Scottish Government approved an application for the development of a Managed Clinical Network for children and young people with a visual impairment. All current content of the VIS website will be transferred to the SSC website. The SSC will work in collaboration with the new Network. This network, Visual Impairment Network for Children and Young People (VINCYP), will officially commence in April 2014. The SSC would like to offer thanks to all families and professionals who have supported VIS over the years. For more information about the new service and the full official statement:


 "In Other News ..."

Accessibility Strategies Consultation

The Scottish Government are currently consulting on the updated guidance for Local Authorities regarding their duty to prepare accessibility strategies for education services. The new document is called Planning improvements for disabled pupils' access to education. Responses are required by 28 March 2014.

Supporting Deaf Students at College and University

Free NATED and BRITE conference in Edinburgh on Friday 30 May is open to all in further and higher education, particularly relevant to students, needs assessors, disability advisors, support workers, assistive technology practitioners, communication support professionals and educational interpreters. Secondary school teachers and others involved in transitions are also welcome. Information and booking at:

Talking about child protection

A current University of Edinburgh research project "Talking about Child Protection" is exploring the experiences and views of maltreated deaf and disabled children and young people about Child Protection Services. They will be interviewing deaf and disabled children and young people aged 11-26 years from across the UK who have either experience of the child protection system, or who may have been abused but did not access services. The research team is now looking for participants for interviews, and would be very grateful if you could contact them. Full information from their website:

BSL Interpreter Opportunities

Freelance On-Screen Interpreter/Translator for ITV SignPost. This advertisement has been produced in British Sign Language (a written English version can also be found on the Youtube page.):


 Library News

We have just purchased 2 books by Susan Fowler. "Sensory stimulation: sensory-focused activities for people with physical and multiple disabilities" features practical activities to stimulate the senses, including food-based activities, personal care and arts and crafts. The second is "Multisensory rooms and environments: controlled sensory experiences for people with profound and multiple disabilities" which is a practical guide to using multisensory environments with ideas and strategies including low cost solutions.

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