University of Edinburgh

 SSC Bulletin 24: October 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 ...

Tuesday, 7th October 2014

Introduction to Visual Impairment and Autism in Children and Young People

Presenter: Ian Bell, Independent Specialist Speech and Language Therapist (formerly Leader of the Visual Impairment and Autism Project)

This one-day course provides a description of the nature of autism; the research concerning the co-occurrence of visual impairment and autism; and developmental setback in visually impaired infants.

A course participant from last year said, "Everything was so clearly communicated, so many things about children I work with now make sense. It was good to have support strategies affirmed but also identify things I could do better with individual children."

There will be a demonstration of the guidance for practitioners developed by the Visual Impairment and Autism Project and discussion of the areas covered: underlying principles, learning, the environment, communication, sensory needs, wellbeing, mobility and independence, and music. There will also be an opportunity to discuss the children and young people the participants work with.

"After very difficult week with visually impaired/autistic child I feel very positive again."


Thursday, 30th October 2014

Sounds to Words: following babies in the first year

Presenter: Lyndsey Allen, Ear Foundation

This course will follow the development of three babies, all born profoundly deaf and implanted around their first birthday. We will follow their development and consider the techniques and strategies their parents used to accelerate spoken language development. Looking in detail at their progression, you will be expected to think diagnostically, identify levels of function and plan for the next steps. The course makes use of filmed therapy sessions and will give you the opportunity to think in-depth about the learning to listen year. This course should help you to:

  • know expected levels of progress in learning to listen;
  • identify techniques and strategies used to accelerate spoken language development;
  • analyse video clips to identify levels of functioning across audition, speech, language and play;
  • apply learning to generate a plan for a child you are supporting.

 SSC News

Goodbye Janis

"I would like to express my gratitude to everyone for their gifts, cards and kind thoughts on the occasion of my retirement. The support you have offered the centre, and myself personally, over the years has been appreciated and I have no doubt this will continue. It has been a pleasure to work with so many of you and although I will miss this I am looking forward to enjoying my retirement. Best wishes. Janis"

New Staff

We would like to welcome the following new members of staff to SSC:
Dr John Ravenscroft has become the SSC's new co-ordinator.
Joy Sharp joined the team in September as our new Secretary.
Alison Buchan will be organising the CPD programme for Deaf Education
Jacqueline McGuire will be organising the CPD programme for Visual Impairment Education

Let Me Play: Early Years Play for Children with Visual Impairment

Copies are still available of the DVD for parents and professionals involved in the lives of young children with visual impairment. RNIB are co-ordinating the distribution of the DVD, please e-mail to be added to the list to receive the DVD. The films are available in full on the SSC website:

Positive Play for Every Day 2: Recording progress, introducing the Scottish Standards and Parent Voices

A follow-up DVD to complement our deaf children's play DVD from 2012 is now available and features more interviews with families, looks at using the Early Support Monitoring protocol and the SSC's Scottish Standards for Deaf Children (0-3). If you would like a copy please let us know, we also have more copies of the first DVD again. Specify if you need both DVD 1 & 2 or just DVD 2 on its own. Contact Joy at

Getting IT Right for Pupils with Visual Impairments (Eye Right)

SSC has been involved in the production of a new guide produced by the ICT Policy and Practice Sub-group of the VI Technology Group. The intention is to inform those responsible for providing ICT services in Education to highlight the barriers and the good practice already available for children with visual impairments who need to use technology to access the curriculum. Please have a look and pass on this link as widely as you can. Limited paper copies are available from SSC:

Eye Right Word Document:
Eye Right PDF:

 "In Other News ..."

Family Guide Dogs experience day, Forfar Training School, 15 October 2014

Following on from the success of Family Guide Dog Experience Days in Redbridge, Atherton and Leamington Spa, Blind Children UK is now delighted to invite children with a visual impairment and their immediate families to attend an experience day at the Guide Dogs Forfar Training School, Scotland. These are days when the whole family can experience what it could be like to own a guide dog at some point in the future The day starts at 10.30am and finishes around 3pm. To book a space please contact Sally Freeman on 0118 983 8318 or email

STEP UP: Habilitation web resource

Check out this new project on Habilitation or Orientation, Mobility and Independence skills for children who are visually impaired. STEP UP: Safe Travel and movement through the Environment for young learners with visual impairment. Promoted by all! Understanding and Participation.

Ototoxicity & Hearing Loss Webinar

The British Society of Audiology are pleased to introduce the next Lunch & Learn eSeminar. They are available free of charge and are provided in collaboration with Phonak iLearn. Please request connection through Firewalls with your local IT department if this is your first eLearning experience. To watch the recording:

The Cerebral Visual Impairment Society

There is a new society for Cerebral Visual Impairment. Their patron is our longstanding colleague, Professor Gordon Dutton. Find out more and sign up for their e-mail newsletter via their website at

Graeme Clark Scholarship (for Nucleus Cochlear Implant users)

The Graeme Clark Cochlear Scholarship, awarded by Cochlear, helps implant users achieve more, by supporting them financially when they continue to advanced education. This unique scholarship is open to Nucleus implant recipients around the world. Scholarship winners are awarded financial assistance towards tertiary study at an accredited university, college or other institution.

Audiology Counseling Forum

Kris English has now created a forum for new thinking in audiology counseling. This forum provides a platform to explore the next issues in counseling. It is open to all audiologists. If you would like to help the profession advance in counseling, please visit and contribute to the forum here:

Deaf History International Conference, Edinburgh 2015

The 9th Deaf History International Conference will take place in Edinburgh, Scotland on Tuesday 14 to Saturday 18 July 2015. Please explore the website and check out Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with progress. Deaf History International Conference website:

 Library News

The website is undergoing a bit of a transformation and will be unveiled soon. The library too has seen changes this summer and if you visit the library now, you will notice that the library desk is now at the top of the library, nearer the front door. I hope this will offer a more approachable service for new and regular visitors alike.

This summer we purchased several items for the library including The Challenge of nystagmus: proceedings of a Nystagmus Network research workshop and Off to the park! by Child's Play, which is a tactile picture book about a visit to the park.

Scottish Council on Deafness sent us the latest of their deaf history DVDs Presenting the past: my firsts: deaf people at home which looks at the interviewees' first homes and the practicalities of telecoms and doorbells!

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