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SSC Bulletin 29: November 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

BSL Glossary

Brave (or crazy?) supporters of the BSL Glossary abseiled down the 141ft of David Hume Tower, Edinburgh on 18th September to raise more funds for Mathematics signs. Congratulations to Gary Quinn, Katy Smillie, Rachel O'Neill and Sheila Mackenzie for successfully making it down to Earth again!

Team BSL getting ready to jump!

Thanks to everyone's generosity we raised over £1700. We will keep you up to date with how we use the funds.


We now have a Geography section to the BSL Glossary. Gary and Audrey have been joined by Rhian Meara who is a Geographer and BSL enthusiast. The videos have been enhanced by some beautiful photographs and clips of mountains and rivers etc. Check it out.


We are delighted to announce that Dr John Ravenscroft, the Head of the Scottish Sensory Centre, has been made a Professor of Childhood Visual Impairment at the University of Edinburgh. Congratulations to John!


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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.


Rachel abseils down DHT
Rachel abseiling

SSC Courses

Coming up ...

Monday, 5th December 2016:
How can schools better support children who are mildly and moderately deaf?

Thursday, 8th December 2016:
Finding the Right Technology for Learners with a Visual Impairment

Plus see full list on the website for 2017 courses:


We are planning some more webinars after the new year:

Last year's webinar by Lea Hyvarinen has now been released for everyone to view:

SSC Unified English Braille Competency Courses

Last dates for enrolling on an Uncontracted Braille course for this session is 1st December or 1st January.

Applications for the Contracted Braille course starting 1st April 2017 are now being accepted. Please submit applications no later than 3rd March 2017.



SSC Webinars

Deaf Education News

Deaf Roots and Pride (DRP) Scotland project

The British Deaf Association, Scotland has an exciting new 3 year Big Lottery funded Deaf Roots and Pride (DRP) Scotland project. DRP is aimed at Deaf children and young people (aged 8-20 years) who are transitioning from primary to secondary education or from secondary education to external environments. It will provide Deaf mentors who will support Deaf children and young people to build confidence and increase their participation in school, social activities and within their families. The project will provide opportunities for Deaf children and young adults to be exposed to rich Deaf culture, Deaf identity and BSL by working and meeting positive Deaf role models and by showing them their future potential. The team comprises a Transition Officer, a Mentoring Officer and an Administrator.

If you know or work with Deaf children and young people from 8-20 years old who might benefit from the Deaf Roots and Pride transitioning and mentoring project, the team would very much like to meet with you to discuss working together to support them at these challenging stages in life. Contact:

Conference: Positive Futures for Deaf Children: Optimising Outcomes

The BATOD National conference will be held in conjunction with the University of Manchester and the Ear Foundation on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th March 2017 in Manchester. Early bird opportunities currently available.

To book:

To see the full programme:

Visual Impairment Education News

New EBU manual for Job Seekers with a Visual Impairment

European Blind Union now has a manual for inexperienced job seekers with a visual impairment on it. This detailed manual includes an analysis of skill and competences, writing a CV and cover letter, going for interviews, and a section on body language and presentational skills. The document results from training courses on youth employability organised by EBU and co-funded by the "Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme" Programme of the European Union. The document can also be downloaded from the EBU website.

Web and Resources News


There is a mixed bag of new additions to the library recently including:

  • How do I teach this kid to read? Teaching literacy skills to young children with autism, from phonics to fluency
  • What the jackdaw saw (Children's picture book about deafness)
  • Rex's specs (Children's picture book about visual impairment)
  • iOS in the classroom: a guide for teaching students with visual impairments (iOS 9 ed)
  • Assessment arrangements (SQA - new guidance from 2015)

Covers of new books

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


Along with the courses this year we have made a concerted effort to tweet live from the course and those tweets have been archived with the course information. Please look back at some of our courses which have already run this year to see the tweets.

We would be interested to know what you think could be done to improve your experience of using the website. Contact



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