- NDCS conference: Let's Work it Out. Deaf young people and employment
This is aimed at professionals working with deaf young people (aged 13 to 25 years) who are beginning to think about moving into employment or gaining work experience. NDCS will be bringing together leaders and practitioners to share practical ideas and best practice for supporting deaf young people in their journey into employment. They will provide the necessary information to support them with whatever they want to achieve in their career. It will be an opportunity for attendees to enhance their skills and hear about experiences first-hand from deaf young people in employment.
The conference takes place online on 30 November 2021, 9am to 5pm. Tickets are on sale now.
More information about the conference.
- Online notetaking course
There is currently an online notetaking course available from Note-Able Notetakers. If you are interested please contact them:
Phone and Text: 07714 232754
- BATOD webinar series
The BATOD webinar series features a broad range of themes and speakers. The specialist topics, additional professional updates and information from a range of sponsors would be of interest to staff supporting deaf learners in all settings. The series can be accessed as a five session package, at a discounted price, or as standalone sessions. These quality evidence-based CPD sessions, available at the touch of the fingertip, are captioned with BSL interpretation and 21 day post-event on-demand access.
- NDCS resources: BSL in Scotland
NDCS have recently produced 2 new resources about BSL communication for deaf children: one aimed at parents; the other aimed at professionals:
- Deaf Teachers of Deaf Children Q&A session: Thursday, 19 August, 7pm
Are you thinking of becoming a teacher? DToD is pleased to welcome two deaf teachers,
Simon Herdman and Liam McMulkin, who are recently qualified as primary and secondary
They will share their experiences of studying on their PGDE/PGCE courses and teaching
on school placements. They will be joined by Dr Audrey Cameron, a deaf PGDE tutor at
Moray House School of Education and Sport at University of Edinburgh. They will also
give tips and advice on how to apply for a teacher training course and DSA funding.
Malcolm Sinclair, vice chair of DToD, will chair the session.
There will be BSL/English interpretation and captions.
- BATOD are raising awareness of CMV and a CMV Action Petition
- SSC eBulletin: June 2021
- CVI and ART, (CVIART) – sensing things differently
Professor John Ravenscroft has been awarded an AHRC EDI engagement fellowship:
This fellowship provides a bridge between academic work concerning CVI and the understanding of CVI needed by parents, carers, and professionals as well as children themselves. This will be achieved through the interweaving of theory and the creative areas of art, music and dance. It aims to provide for the very first time through music, dance and art, ways of explaining and understanding CVI, and more importantly understanding what a child with CVI may perceive.
- Staying safe online - Deaf Zone
- SSC eBulletin: December 2020
- COVID 19
Staff are currently working from home please bear with us. There are translations of COVID 19 announcements and information in BSL available at the BDA Website. Information from us is being put out on our Twitter and Facebook feeds while we are away from the office. Stay safe!
- SSC eBulletin: June 2020
- Deaf Education Matters Scotland
A new Facebook Group was set up in June 2020 to discuss how to cope with Covid-19 in deaf education. In the group there are parents of deaf children, some D/deaf themselves, some teachers of deaf children and support staff who work in schools, members of voluntary groups such as West of Scotland Deaf children’s society, and other interested professionals, e.g. representatives from education audiology, BSL teachers and the CI team at Kilmarnock.
- SSC eBulletin: April 2020
- SSC eBulletin: February 2020
- SSC eBulletin: October 2019
- Sight and Sound Summer School Recordings
Sight and Sound Technology have released a series of videos (and audio only files) of their summer school sessions covering topics such as: Shortcuts, Ruby Magnifiers, Zoomtext, and Focus Braille Displays.
- SSC eBulletin: June 2019
- How Good is our Sensory Service?
On 1st May 2019 we launched our new standards document How Good is our Sensory Service? A Framework for Auditing and Evaluating the Quality of our Sensory Services. This document is available from the Scottish Sensory Centre and is also downloadable from our website.
- Learning to Access: VIEW discussion paper
Looks at why a new UK specialist curriculum to enable equitable participation in education for children and young people with vision impairment is necessary. The aim of is to start a discussion about the need for a national, UK specialist curriculum for vision impairment (VI) education that addresses the development and learning needs associated with blindness and partial sight and reflects the distinctive skills required by learners with VI.
- SSC eBulletin: February 2019
- Frontiers for Young Minds provides a collection of freely available scientific articles by distinguished scientists that are shaped for younger audiences by the input of their own young peers. Read more ...
Recommended reading by the BSL Glossary Team!
- BSL Glossary
We have now organised BSL Glossary Chemistry and Physics signs into subcategories.
- SSC eBulletin: October 2018
- National Eye Health Week
Optometrist warns we are absorbing more than 10 times too much blue light from digital device screens. Read more ...
- Scottish Course to Train Tutors of Lipreading (SCTTL) - New 2019 Scottish Course Open for Applications!
SCTTL plan to run the course which will be six weekends between January and September. You must be able to attend all six study weekends to complete the course. The weekends are full days Saturday and Sunday and it is hoped that Forth Valley Sensory Centre will be the venue.
Unfortunately at this moment specific dates cannot be set. Response and confirmation from course applicants are needed before the venue can be booked. Confirmation of dates will be possible once applications are received or at the latest around September 2018.
This is an intensive course which involves a lot of study and course work to be completed between study weekends. As well as practical teaching on a weekly basis.
If you have already completed an application for last year's course, please get in touch at the e-mail below but there should be no need to re-do your application unless your details have changed.
Please contact us on email@example.com for more information.
- Addiction Resource
Addiction Resource raises awareness of the dangers of addiction and helps K-12 students stay drug and bully-free: https://addictionresource.com/drug-abuse-and-bullying/
The dual format book company have reopened their shop owing to public demand following their closure in December 2017. The company will run on a restricted schedule and will only produce and ship books between November and March. http://www.access2books.org/
- SSC eBulletin: May 2018
- Tactile Collider
SSC will be hosting a demonstration of the Tactile Collider which allows children who are visually impaired to experience the amazing science of CERN's Large Hadron Collider on Tuesday 12th June 2018 in Edinburgh. More ...
- SSC eBulletin: February 2018
- Doorway Text Type 3
Text Type 2 is the well-used touch typing tutor on the Doorway Online site; www.doorwayonline.org.uk
It was specifically designed for visually impaired learners, with large text, clear screen and auditory prompting and feedback. We have designed a replacement that is an improvement on an already excellent touch typing tutor and will work with almost any device that is found in the school and home environment; PCs, laptops, Macs, tablets and Chrome books.
Text Type 3 will be our second multi-platform Doorway activity, following Doorway Cashing In. It will be released in two phases.
The SSC has generously given us a grant to get us started on TT3. Please make a donation to help us complete the work.
- Phase 1 will be a replacement for TT2 with several new features, including WPM score and keeping track of the accuracy score in the previous sessions. TT3 will suggest whether an exercise should be repeated or whether the learner should move on to the next one.
- Phase 2 is designed to give access to touch typing practice to learners with very low vision. As well as the usual auditory feedback, it will read out screen messages and also the current line to be typed.
Between the two phases, there will be the chance for VI support staff to comment on the design and implementation.
If you wish to learn more or join a small group of evaluators/testers, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or to follow developments, like our Facebook page: Doorway Online.
- British Sign Language (BSL) National Plan 2017-2023
If you have any queries Email Rachel
The Scottish Government has just published its BSL National Plan. This plan sets out Scotland's ambition to be the best place in the world for BSL users to live, work and visit. The document looks at ten long-term goals covering early years and education; training and work; health; culture and the arts; transport; justice and democracy.
... Read the BSL National Plan
- BSL Education App - Access the BSL Glossary on your mobile!
On Tuesday, 5th September at Dynamic Earth our BSL Education app will be launched by the group of deaf young people who helped the SSC with the development and design of the app.
The event will be attended by groups of deaf children from Falkirk, Dingwall and Glasgow. They will watch a science show using the signs, and be introduced to the new app,
which is free to download from Google play and the App store.
Learn More ...
- Lilian Lawson: Honorary Doctorate
On 6th July 2017, Lilian Lawson will receive an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Edinburgh. Lilian has spent her life campaigning for deaf people's rights and access to communication. Lilian was the driving force behind the BSL Scotland Act which was passed in 2015.
The SSC/Moray House has had a long association with Lilian, stretching back to her involvement in the Edinburgh BSL project in the 1970s and 80s which began the recognition of BSL as a language. During that time Lilian was involved in writing the seminal book Words in Hand. Until her retirement, Lilian also served on the SSC's Advisory committee where we benefited from her wisdom.
Here is a video of Lilian talking about her life and career for BSL Zone:
Pictured: Lilian with John Denerley at SCoD launch of Deaf People at Work DVD at Moray House, 2011.
- The FIESTA Best Practice Report by Professor John M Davis and Professor John Ravenscroft is now available from the SSC website licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
- VI Awareness Resource: My Story by Kathryn Robertson
Kathryn and her dad have made a 9 minute video about her visual impairment.
- SSC Bulletin: March 2017
- Scottish Government’s Draft British Sign Language (BSL) National Plan Consultation
Deadline: Wednesday, 31st May 2017.
This draft plan covers the whole of the Scottish Government and over 50 national public bodies that Scottish Ministers have responsibility for. Other public bodies, including local authorities and regional NHS boards, will publish their own BSL plans next year. This first BSL National Plan will cover the next six years to 2023.
Scottish Government Consultation Website:
Scottish Government Consultation Facebook:
Deaf Sector Partnership Website:
Deaf Sector Partnership Facebook:
Anyone in Scotland can contribute to the consultation. If you have any questions, contact: email@example.com
- Ballyland Rotor App
Coming soon! New educational app for children who are blind or have low vision http://ballyland.com/mobile/ballyland-rotor-app.php
- Deaf Friendly Games for a Children's Party - Infographic
Gives several tips and ideas for parents who are holding a children's party where deaf children may be in attendance. The games suggested are inclusive, allowing all children to play together. You can find the infographic here:
- Bulletin November 2016
- There have been changes to the University of Edinburgh's Postgraduate Programmes on the qualifications for Teachers of pupils with sensory impairments (ie Deaf or Visually Impaired). For more information:
- We are very pleased 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!
- NDCS Supporting Achievement resources have been updated and republished. (We picked up a spare copy of the Secondary booklet at a recent event.)
These resources are for mainstream education staff on how to support deaf children and young people in various settings. http://www.ndcs.org.uk/supportingachievement
- GIRFEC Easy Read Guides People First and Alliance Scotland have produced these helpful easy-read guides to GIRFEC, we have added the links to our website.
- Bulletin: April 2016
- Canaan Barrie 'on body' Sign System
We often get queries about the Canaan Barrie signs (previously published under 'Movement, Gesture and Sign'
and later 'Learning Together' by RNIB). Recently we have been working with Mary Lee to make the signs available as individual files for you to download and use.
- Your Eyes Manual ICEVI-Europe has endorsed this manual, which aims to encourage early diagnosis in blindness prevention and highlight the
issues of vision loss. Available from the ICEVI-Europe website:
- Bulletin: January 2016
- MOLLVIS App evaluation
European colleagues from Germany, Italy, Romania, and Edinburgh have been working on a German Language Learning app for Apple, Android and Windows mobile devices. The apps have been designed specifically for users who are blind and visually impaired, but also hopefully attractive to the sighted user - a fully inclusive app.
If you or a pupil/student or someone you know is studying German or would like to evaluate the app then please download “MOLLVIS” from App Store or Google Play (for Android) (The Windows version will be released soon.)
Once downloaded, choose the English speaking version. It will download the language files. (It's suggested you do this on wi-fi as the files are quite large.)
It would help the development of the app if you could evaluate the app. Please use the following links:
For Teachers evaluating the student learning and app:
For Learners (pupils/students and users):
If you want to send any other comments on the Project, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- VINCYP Award
VINCYP has come second in the Bayer Ophthalmology Honours awards in the category of Best Patient Support or Education Initiative. The entry was highly commended and the judges commented:
“This initiative offers an impressive, cohesive plan for children. The objectives and strategy for the network are clear and it is already impacting positively on care delivery. This is a worthwhile initiative and broad implementation will benefit patients significantly.”
Full info available at ophthalmologyhonours.bayer.co.uk/2015-results/
- BSA Online learning: Paediatric Tinnitus: Practice Guidance by Dr Veronica Kennedy
BSA Lunch & Learn eSeminar - November 2015,
Supported by Phonak iLearn as part of the Phonak Academy
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. They are available from the date shown with email access to the speaker for questions for up to the following two weeks. They can also be accessed at a later date from the BSA and Phonak websites. Please request connection through Firewalls with your local IT department if this is your first eLearning experience.
To watch the recording: https://connect.sonova.com/p7hebdk737e/
- Carnegie Mellon Students Release Ed Software for Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Sign language dictionary builder for local signs and an app that encourages sound production
- Euan's Guide is a disabled access review site where disabled people and friends, family members and carers share their experiences of accessibility across the country. So far there are over 2300 places on the site across 700 UK towns, ranging from sports grounds and concert venues to more everyday places such as coffee shops and post offices. The site aims to be a positive resource, focusing more on good practice and getting feedback back to venues on things to improve. Euan's Guide aims to become a go-to knowledge bank on accessibility that will empower disabled people by providing greater choice of places to go, and act as a mechanism for getting their views on accessibility heard. They are particularly keen to hear from more visually impaired or deaf people. It is a new charity, based in Edinburgh.
For more background and to write a review please visit www.euansguide.com
- Peek Vision The app produced from the SightSim project is now available for free to use on Android.
Go to: Google play store and type in Peek Vision to find the App.
Or enter: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.peekvision.lite.android
It is part of the visual acuity testing set up available for free from Peek, the organisation setting up eye care services in Africa centred upon the set of devices and software that can be used with mobile phones.
Once the vision has been determined and entered, the image that is seen using the camera is a split screen real time presentation of how you are seeing on one side and how the person with low vision is seeing on the other.
Gordon Dutton says "Do try it out!
I've found that it works on phones with fast processors but not slow ones."
- RNIB has produced a list of Key information and statistics on sight loss http://www.rnib.org.uk/knowledge-and-research-hub/key-information-and-statistics
- SSC response to Education & Culture Committee's Inquiry into attainment of school pupils with a sensory impairment (PDF)
- SSC Bulletin: March 2015
- MoLLVIS project plans to create German language learning apps for Windows, Apple and Android devices.
- NDCS Acoustics Toolkit Update
NDCS recently published a series of resources "Creating good listening conditions for learning in education". This replaces the old NDCS Acoustics Toolkit. These resources include: A briefing with practical suggestions for mainstream teachers; A PowerPoint training presentation for ToDs to deliver to mainstream teachers; Surveys for assessing pupil views and preliminary checks on listening environments; A parent factsheet; A guide for commissioners; Quality marks that schools may want to consider using to demonstrate that they have good listening conditions.
The resources are available online at: www.ndcs.org.uk/acoustics. To ensure it can be kept up to date quickly and easily, there will be no hard copies.
Tina Wakefield and Stuart Whyte will be giving a presentation on these new resources at the BATOD Conference in Edinburgh in March.
- SSC Bulletin: January 2015
- The first EdSign of 2015 will be a special event at the Royal Observatory! Reaching for the Stars by Audrey Cameron, Gary Quinn and Tania Johnston Tuesday, 13th January 2015 6.30pm - 8.00pm.
How can we improve communication of astronomy to the Deaf community? By creating nearly 100 BSL signs for astronomy, that's how! A ground-breaking project has done just that: from signs for each of the planets, to signs for concepts such as black holes and red giants. A tour of the observatory will also be included. BSL/English interpretation available. See also SSC BSL Astronomy Glossary
- Cerebral Visual Impairment in Children: A Practical Approach A reminder about this very useful online course created by Professor Gordon Dutton. Purchase required.
- Achievement and Opportunities for Deaf Students in the United Kingdom: The final report is now available from this project which followed up some of the children identified by the SSC's ADPS project.
Funded by the Nuffield Foundation and undertaken by
Rachel O’Neill, Julie Arendt and Marc Marschark at the University of Edinburgh. https://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/achievement-and-opportunities-deaf-students-0
- FIESTA Newsletter: October 2014 Includes information about the outcomes of the project and a request for inclusion stories from your pupils. To receive your own updates and access to resources, register for free here: http://www.fiesta-project.eu/user/register
- SSC Bulletin: October 2014
- 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
- Getting IT right for pupils with visual impairments (Eye Right): produced by the ICT Policy and Practice Group:
Eye Right PDF
- 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: https://connect.sonova.com/p80w5y1k9v6/
- SSC Bulletin: May 2014
- SSC Bulletin: March 2014
- Update on VI Scotland project
- We are getting a lot of bounced emails at the moment, please contact us if your email address has changed and/or if you are not receiving mailings as expected. email@example.com
- SSC December Bulletin
- SSC November Bulletin
- SSC September Bulletin
- Support for the New National Literacy Units (pdf)
SQA has produced a quick and easy guide to supportive practices for National Literacy Units. This guide may be helpful to centres, learners, parents, carers and others interested in support for the National Literacy Units. A braille copy of the leaflet is also available from SQA.
Please email PNPadmin@sqa.org.uk if you wish a copy.
- SSC August Bulletin
- Graduate Diploma: Specialist Qualification in Habilitation and Disabilities of Sight (Children and Young People) validated by the Institute of Education, University of London and run in London, Wakefield or Edinburgh
Do you want to become an Habilitation Assistant or an Habilitation Specialist (or know someone who does), directing and implementing mobility and independence work with children and young people from birth to age 25 who are blind or visually impaired and may have other needs? If you work with visually impaired children and young people and want to gain a recognised qualification and develop your career.
Graduate Diploma: Specialist Qualification in Habilitation and Disabilities of Sight (Children and Young People)
For further information refer to http://www.ioe.ac.uk/study/PDI9_CYP9IM.html or
Email Kim Reynolds, Programme Administrator: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Really Useful Guide to Living with Sight Loss
- New VI Awareness series on YouTube
- Introduction to the Perkins Brailler now on You Tube
- Sensory Stories for young VI children now on You Tube
Lorna's practical guides to how to make up a sensory experience for sensory storytelling. This resource will build up over time.