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SSC Bulletin 28: April 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

PE & Sports for children, with VI

In March 2016 the SSC hosted an excellent and unique two day event on “Physical Education and Sports for children and young people with Visual Impairments and Deafblindness” with Professor Lauren J Lieberman, Director of Camp Abilities/Co-Director of The Institute of Movement Studies for Individuals with Visual Impairments, The College of Brockport, Department of Kinesiology, Sport Studies and Physical Education, Brockport, NY.

PE Course

The participants included Teachers of the Visually Impaired, PE Teachers, Active Schools Co-ordinators, University of Edinburgh students as well as representatives from Scottish Disability Sports, British Blind Sport and Guide Dogs/Blind Children UK. The two days were very well received and afforded great networking discussions and opportunities. Lauren’s enthusiasm and energy was inspiring so ‘watch this space’ for future developments in this area in Scotland.

  • “Very clearly explained about how we can do things better - huge changes are not needed. Expect high attainment from all pupils.”
  • “Making me realise that PE, high quality PE, should be delivered and assessed to all children. Stop 'dumbing down' my expectations.”
  • “The most useful for me was finding out about the ways to modify and adapt PE skills so that VI pupils are included in class and able to learn skills successfully.”

Canaan Barrie Signs

We have been working closely with Mary Lee, Lindi MacWilliam and Janis Graham recently to create an online presence for the on body signs developed by Mary and her colleagues and first published by RNIB as Movement, Gesture and Sign with the video produced by Moray House ETV. The illustrations of the signs are now on the website along with the text from the book in PDF format. We hope that eventually the video content can be updated for inclusion on the site.
Please check it out at:

Early Years Collaborative

In March 2016 we had a presentation from Julie Wild, Early Years Collaborative to look at the Model for Improvement for early years work that has been developed. We hope that this work will feed into our Early Years working groups. For those of you who were unable to attend, the presentation is now on our website with some links mentioned on the day.


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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.


Lauren Lieberman
Lauren Lieberman

SSC Courses

Coming up ...

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

Monday, 13th June 2016
Whole service framework and approach to promoting child's voice (Gwyneth McCormack)


SSC Unified English Braille Competency Courses

Applications for 1st September 2016 are now being accepted. Please submit applications no later than 15th August.


“In Other News ...”

Para Water Sport and Para Cycling - 22 May 2016

In the year of Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Scottish Disability Sport invites you to join them in a National Celebration of Para Water Sport and Para Cycling.
We are working in partnership with Scottish Rowing, FABB Scotland/ Blazing Saddles Adaptive Cycling, Scottish Canoe Association, Royal Yachting Association Scotland, Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park and Help for Heroes Sports Recovery to offer people with physical disabilities, hearing and visual impairments the chance to try different sports with family and friends. cycling&tag=&searchSectionID=
Contact: Tel 0131 317 1130; Website:; Email:

UK Intensive Interaction Conference 2016: Intensive Interaction in Action

The 12th annual UK Intensive Interaction Conference will be on Thursday, 2nd June 2016 in Glasgow at the Village Hotel, Pacific Quay.

Education Lectures

Moray House has a website about public seminars which currently features the BSL-related EdSign lectures. Keep checking the site and you may find other seminars of interest.

Deaf Education

British Association of Teachers of the Deaf conference: 14 May 2016, Glasgow

The next BATOD Scotland Conference is on Saturday, 14th May 2016 at the Premier Inn, George Square, Glasgow. The Keynote speaker Gary Morgan will present on Theory of Mind. An application form is available on the SSC website.  If you are planning to attend please return your application form to Myra Orr by 26th April.

College Preparation Course: 6-10 June 2016

Action on Hearing Loss is running this course aimed at young deaf and hard of hearing people aged 16-25 living in Central Scotland who are either leaving school this year or considering their options for next year. The young people will get to experience what it is like being a student and learn more about:

  • managing their finances
  • working with Communication Support
  • support they can expect
  • funding that may be available to them

The young people must be able to commit to attending the full week.  Travel expenses (when a receipt is provided) and lunch will be offered to attendees. Interpreters and Electronic Notetakers will be there each day.

Contact: Tel/Text 0141 341 5346 Email

How is telehealth changing the support we provide for deaf people from assessment, education to programming hearing devices?

Ear Foundation’s next virtual conference is about making audiology and hearing support a service that overcomes the obstacles of distance and time out of the clinic back into homes. With speakers from Australia, Brazil, South Africa and the UK they will be looking at the innovative ways telehealth is being used to transform services and promote use of technology for deaf people and their families. It will be tackling the topics of how to deliver high quality audiological, habilitative and educational care which is affordable, convenient, accessible and sustainable.

The recorded presentations for this virtual conference will be accessible from 3rd May 2016 - 3rd September 2016 Tickets from £20
For more information, to register, and to download speaker’s abstracts and biographies, please visit the Ear Foundation website

Sign language as a Modern Foreign Language

In case you missed it Eileen Burns contributed an article in TESS last month about an experiment at Hamilton School for the Deaf about teaching French Sign Language (LSF) to children there. For more information:

Visual Impairment Education

VINCYP CVI Event, The Royal George Hotel, Perth - 17th June 2016

This seminar aims to provide information on cerebral visual impairment for professionals, outwith health, who support children and young people with visual impairment. It is anticipated that attendees will come from a variety of backgrounds and job roles within education, social work and the voluntary sector. The day will provide an overview of the variety of presentations which these young people may show, and provide an opportunity for practitioners to share their own practice as well as learn from others.


Web and Resources News


In line with the adoption of Unified English Braille in the UK we have been trying to make sure our library reference stock keeps pace and so we have invested in a new UEB Burns Braille Guide, if you know of any good UEB resources, please let me know.

Perhaps there is something in the air but this spring has been all about Sport/PE and Visual impairment and we are delighted to have discovered these two free publications from British Blind Sport:


As well as creating a whole new section of the website for the Canaan Barrie signs we have been continuing to try to improve the website navigation and there are some changes you will notice on the front page. We would be interested to know what you think could be done to improve your experience of using the website. Contact

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