University of Edinburgh

SSC Bulletin 9: August 2012

    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 ...

    Monday, 10 September, 2012
    Update on Cochlear Implants (FREE)
    Venue: Dundee

    Over the last two decades Cochlear Implants have been developed until now children as young as one year old can be implanted. It is crucial that as staff working with children who are cochlear implant users we ensure our knowledge and understanding continues to be updated in order to help the user gain optimum benefit from their implant as well as supporting their families. This course will cover the following: cochlear implants; an overview; a practical guide (daily checks, fault-finding and FM); rehabilitation techniques.
    NB: teas/coffees will be provided. Please bring your own packed lunch - it will be possible to purchase food locally if preferred.
    Target Audience: Heads of Services, teachers of deaf children, mainstream teachers, support staff, etc.
    Presenters: Cochlear Implant Team, Crosshouse


    Wednesday, 12 September, 2012
    Sensory Play and Learning for VI children
    Venue: SSC, Edinburgh

    This course is designed for those with an interest in sensory work with young children who are visually impaired or who have complex needs. It is relevant to those who have access to multisensory equipment and sensory rooms but the emphasis is on the creation of simple, low cost resources. The aims of the course are to enable participants to: consider the importance of sensory work as a powerful tool in our interactions with children, and the use of sensory work to encourage communication, learning and decision-making.
    Target Audience: Early years workers, teachers, parents, carers, staff and volunteers who are interested in sensory work with young children, with children with VI, or with children who have complex needs.
    Presenter: Judy Denziloe


    Wednesday, 26 September, 2012
    Educational Communication Worker in Deaf Education
    Venue: SSC, Edinburgh

    Is there a role for an Educational Communication Worker (ECW)? This course will raise challenging issues for deaf education in Scotland. The number of children who use British Sign Language (BSL) is rapidly shrinking as early implantation becomes the norm for most profoundly deaf children. Nevertheless, a proportion of deaf children and their families want BSL or Sign Supported English (SSE) to be used fluently throughout the education system.
    Rachel O'Neill and Leigh Anderson will discuss the training routes for support staff who wish to work as an ECW. Discussion will also include issues relevant for employers of ECWs including the use of skills tests at interview. The day will include discussion of video clips of classrooms showing support staff at work so that we can see the skills needed to interpret into BSL for one or more deaf learners, and to interpret from BSL to spoken English for the teacher and hearing pupils. We will focus on two educational settings to explore these issues.
    Target Audience: Heads of Services, teachers of deaf children, mainstream teachers, support staff, etc.
    Presenter: Rachel O'Neill, Lecturer in Deaf Education, SSC/University of Edinburgh and Leigh Anderson, Sensory Support Service, Dundee and others to be confirmed.


    Thursday, 27 September 2012
    iPads and iPods in Special and Inclusive Education
    Venue: SSC, Edinburgh

    There will be lots of inspirational apps and ideas for the iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone. This is not an advanced course - there will be no technical language or explanations!! Bring your own iPad with you if you wish and share your ideas with other practitioners. The course will cover: working with iTunes accounts; using an ipod/ipad to enhance active learning; apps to stimulate engagement, attention & interaction; iPads and autism; controlling sensory environments with iPads amongst other topics.
    Target Audience: This course is aimed at parents teachers and other professionals working with learners who additional support needs including sensory impairments with complex needs, including autism in special schools, units and colleges and for those working in inclusive pre 5's settings.
    Presenter: This course has been specifically designed and will be presented by Richard Hirstwood, Hirstwood Training Ltd.


    SSC News

    Hello ...
    We are delighted to welcome Dr Mariela Fordyce to the SSC team, she will be working part-time with us and part-time with the University as a research fellow. More information will be forthcoming in the SSC Newsletter.

    SSC Website
    Visitors to the website may already have noticed that we have recently redesigned the website to make the vast contents of the website more accessible and transparent. Currently photographs from the SSC's 21st Birthday celebration in June are running as a slideshow. As ever, if you have any comments regarding the website please contact us:

  • Habilitation and Disabilities of Sight (Children and Young People)
    Are you working with visually impaired children and wish you knew more about supporting their orientation & mobility skills and their daily living skills? The Habilitation and Disabilities of Sight (Children and Young People) courses could be for you! If you would like more information about the Edinburgh courses accredited by the Institute of Education, University of London, please contact the SSC or the Programme Leader: Dr Karl Wall, Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, LONDON WC1H 0AL Tel 0207 612 6282.

  • Email:
  • VI Scotland News
    Family Residential Weekend 21st - 23rd September 2012 Auchengillan Adventure Centre, Blanefield, Stirlingshire
    This weekend organised by VICTA and VI Scotland is designed to give visually impaired children and their families the opportunity to meet others in similar situations and to share their experiences. There will be a wide range of activities for children and a number of parent’s workshops and informal discussion sessions where parents will have an opportunity to discuss aspects of visual impairment with each other and with people working in the fields of health and accessible education and technology. Includes supervised activities: Kayaking/canoeing; Fencing; Climbing; Archery; Raft building; Pole climb; Circus skills; Orienteering; Water waltzers and self-supervised activities: Basketball, short-tennis, badminton; Snowy Creek obstacle course; Games room; Beaver trail; Pedal Karts; Grass sledging; Parachute games; Nature walk; Outdoor swimming pool. For more information and booking forms please contact SSC:

  • RNIB Lifetime Achievement Award
    I am sure everyone would like to joins us in congratulating Marianna Buultjens who has been given an RNIB Lifetime Achievement Award. More details and photos will appear in the SSC Newsletter.

    Christmas Card Competition
    Early notice for everyone that we will be looking for entrants to our annual Christmas Card Competition. The deadline will be 14 November 2012. More information to follow nearer the time, in the meantime you can contact the SSC for further details:

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    "In Other News"

    Rehabilitation for visual field loss after stroke: what is being used?

    A PhD project into rehabilitation for visual field loss funded by The Stroke Association will provide important data to inform trials into useful and feasible rehabilitation interventions for visual field deficits. The researcher, Christine Hazelton, is looking for input from professionals focusing on training methods to improve eye movements in those with visual field loss. There are two main intervention types: Scanning training and Compensatory strategies and advice. This project will explore scanning training only (not compensatory strategies and advice.) If you are involved in this type of work Christine would like to hear from you, she has a brief questionnaire to discover all scanning training methods in use. Responses will be accepted until the end of August 2012. All information provided will be treated confidentially and data anonymised. If you would like any further information, please contact:

  • Keycomm Website
    Keycomm has a new website! As of the 1st of July the website address will be:

  • Strathclyde Police Communication Methods
    Strathclyde Police have been updating their contact leaflets recently, including the one for deaf people and people who cannot speak. If you have any comments about the leaflet, please contact Sergeant Colin Forbes who works in the Diversity Unit of the Safer Communities Department in Strathclyde Police. Email:

  • Classes at Donaldson's
    There is a new programme of training courses being held at Donaldson's School in Linlithgow from the end of August 2012. Includes: Introduction to BSL; Level 1 BSL; Introduction to Lipreading. Donaldson's is an ILA approved learning centre, anyone eligible for an Individual Learning Account through Skills Development Scotland can get up to £200 towards the cost of the course. Eligible organisations may also be entitled to a refund of up to 50% of the course fees through the Skills Development Scotland Flexible Training Opportunity Scheme. For more information or to download an application form please visit our website:

  • or contact Harley Rudge on 01506 841900 or
  • Consultation on proposed British Sign Language (BSL) (Scotland) Bill
    The consultation document for the proposed British Sign Language (BSL) (Scotland) Bill is now available. The consultation will run from 30 July 2012 until 31 October 2012.

  • Conference "Technology for Life: Tools for Inclusion", 6-7 September 2012
    RNIB Scotland, with support from the Scottish Government and Wolfson Microelectronics are organising an exciting international conference "Technology for Life: Tools for Inclusion" at the Glasgow Science Centre on 6-7 September 2012. The conference will highlight strategies and approaches towards social inclusion through digital engagement, featuring cutting edge applications and developments in the fields of independent living and telehealthcare. The conference keynote addresses will be given by Nicola Sturgeon MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing and Deputy First Minister and Professor Vicki Hanson, Chair of Inclusive Technologies, University of Dundee and the programme features a wide range of expert speakers. The conference will be of interest to the statutory, voluntary, technological and research sectors.

    Details and a booking form are available from the

  • website
  • For more information the conference organisers can be contacted on 0131 652 3140 or by email:

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    Library News

    Over the summer we received the latest issue of the Journal of Deaf Studies & Deaf Education which covers a variety of subjects including bilingual language policies, parenting styles with deaf and hearing children, physical symptoms of stress in deaf young people, self-concept of deaf adolescents, literacy and linguistics and a study of teachers of the deaf.

    The latest issue of NB covers the subject of Nystagmus and how it impacts on social and work settings and there is an article on the current directions in technology which are sometimes led by people with sight loss and looks at how some recent advances are beneficial and inclusive of visually impaired users from the outset.

    We have recently purchased another language assessment Renfrew language scales: action picture test (4th ed) which is a short simple test of spoken language and plans are afoot to further develop our collection of language assessments with additional copies.

    The Scottish Government issued guidance last year on inclusive information practices for service providers Principles of inclusive communication: an information and self-assessment tool for public authorities. This is available from their website:

  • The NDCS has produced a new booklet with USB memory stick called Secrets of words: a programme to help deaf children's literacy which contains an interactive programme of lessons, exercises and games to help improve deaf children's literacy skills which were developed at Oxford University by Terezinha Nunes, Deborah Evans, Diana Burman, and Rosanna Barros.


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

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