University of Edinburgh
 

Newsletter 31 Spring 2011

Scottish Deaf Heritage

lilian

Lilian Lawson and John Denerley

In 2009, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) awarded the Scottish Council on Deafness (SCoD) a grant of £47,000 to preserve Scottish deaf people's heritage by capturing their memories on film and ensuring it is not lost forever.

Memories of school days, employment, home life, family holidays, social life, driving lessons, aids and telecommunications, even memories of air raids and rationing - all were captured on film. Footage discussing employment - the first topic of the DVD series - was selected and launched on 21st April, 2011 at the Scottish Sensory Centre at Moray House School of Education. Lilian Lawson, Director, SCoD, and John Denerley, Convener, SCoD Management Committee are pictured here holding the "Presenting the Past" DVD.

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Editorial

Many of you, as regular users of the SSC, may have been aware from various press articles, questions at First Minister's Question Time, etc, in February and March of this year, that the future of the Scottish Sensory Centre was uncertain. After 20 years as a national centre this came as quite a shock to staff at the SSC and those relying on the services of the SSC. After some considerable negotiation and many representations from colleagues, parents, interested groups and individuals, we are pleased to announce that funding has been confirmed for another year. This core funding will be provided by the Scottish Government, the main funder of SSC activities for 20 years, and the University of Edinburgh.

We cannot adequately thank all those who took the trouble to write, as individuals and groups, to various bodies, people and MSPs. We feel this support made a huge impact and we understand the response was such that it had reached 'campaign' status. It was also very heartening to know that the work of the SSC was valued by so many people all over the country.

We will endeavour to keep our services to their usual high standard over the next year and will try to avoid the risk of closure in the future. Please contact the SSC if you feel we can provide you with more support, services and information.

With many thanks.

Scottish Sensory Centre

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Hello

alison

Hello Everyone!

It is my honour and pleasure to have gained the post of Associate Braille Tutor for the SQA Braille Competency course run by the Scottish Sensory Centre (SSC).

I enjoyed working with Margaret Lee when she was the tutor, and actually replaced her temporarily for a few weeks in the dim and distant 1980s. Then when Morag Heeps took over the post in 2003, we all depended on her very organised administration combined with her humane approach to the Braille students, who get quite stressed at times, especially when other aspects of life get in the way of routine Braille practice!

The hard work undertaken by Morag and SSC colleagues in preparing the course for SQA approval is very evident in the ease with which the entire coursework could be handed over to me, perfectly organised and presented. Many thanks for that.

Many of you already know me quite well - not difficult when I have been on the VI scene since 1977! I always enjoyed meeting new and established VI teachers at the SSC courses and at the SAVIE and Maths and Science meetings. I retired in August from the post of Principal Teacher, Visual Impairment in Fife, and a post such as Braille Tutor suits me well: it keeps me in touch with my professional colleagues and lets me use some of my skills, without all the stresses of being a real teacher!

When I’m not staring at dots I’m doing more singing, as I intended, and loving it. My retirement present from the Fife Sensory Support Service was a wonderful bike with great big wheels, but even it has not been equal to the snow and ice we’ve had here near Perth from late November to late January, when I’m writing this. If the sun comes out again, I’ll be gardening and walking and biking much more, I hope.

I have already enjoyed receiving Braille assessments from students in various parts of the UK and greatly look forward to helping many of you through the course.

Alison Duthie
Braille Competency Course Tutor

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Resource Library Update

Adding to the number of BSL drama videos in the SSC Library collection, we have purchased a series of Deafinitely Theatre DVDs.

Deafinitely Theatre is a Deaf led professional theatre company which aims through its productions to correct the misconceptions between the Deaf and hearing world. Productions are a mix of BSL and speech which allows them to be understood by both deaf and hearing audiences. DVDs include:

Motherland, an acclaimed stage play following one deaf woman through the rise of Nazism in Germany;

Dysfunction, a comedy about the modern family and communication in all relationships;

Lipstick and lollipops follows Isabel, a Deaf teenager who becomes unsettled when she moves to London with her mother;

Playing God is about Deaf parents deciding about whether to proceed with a cochlear implant operation for their child. For more information about the theatre company, please see their website:
http://www.deafinitelytheatre.co.uk/

RNIB have produced a new CD/DVD set on inclusion of visually impaired children.

Hear Me Out: blind and partially sighted children talk about inclusion, achievement and involvement contains audio interviews with 40 visually impaired children about their lives. The CD-ROM can be played on a computer or on a Daisy player. Text transcripts are also available from the CD-ROM via your computer.

Count me in: promoting the inclusion, achievement and involvement of blind and partially sighted children (DVD) promotes good practice in the inclusion of blind and partially sighted children covering 6 key areas:

• expectations
• communication
• curriculum
• mobility
• social
• environmental issues.

It is aimed at anyone working with visually impaired children including class teachers, assistants and others.

Thanks to everyone who responded to Resource Library feedback questionnaire. If you had specific queries or problems about the library please can you get in touch with me. Those who have renewed membership recently may have noticed that along with a slight increase in fees there is also an increase in the number of loans allowed. Anyone who prefers a copy of the catalogue on paper now that I distribute the catalogue on CD, please ask. Any long-term members who need a new copy of the catalogue, let me know.

Sheila Mackenzie
Resource Library Manager
Telephone: 0131 651 6069

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Visual Impairment Scotland Update

neil

As mentioned in the last newsletter VI Scotland were approached by Neil McEwen of First Sight Opticians offering to donate sponsorship money for a climb of Mount Kilimanjaro to VI Scotland. Neil has now completed the climb which raised much needed funds for VI Scotland. Neil says: "the only important thing you should know about Kilimanjaro is that the reason you start your assent for the summit at midnight and therefore in complete darkness is that if you could you see how far you still had to go then you would never leave."

the summit

It was obviously a huge effort to complete the challenge and we would like to sincerely thank Neil for having this grand idea, for his efforts in seeing it come to fruition and for supporting VI Scotland. Thanks also to any readers who saw the last newsletter and sponsored Neil on our behalf.

David Feeney
Manager
Visual Impairment Scotland

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SAVIE

The last meeting of SAVIE took place on Friday, 25th March at the SSC. This one-day event for Teachers of the Visually Impaired and other professionals working with visually impaired young people focused on skills development. Speakers included:

John Dalziel and Margaret Kay from Skills Development Scotland discussed the 'Template for Success'.
Mo Colvin and members of HAGGEYE introduced SAVIE to the new 'Stop and Stare' initiative which aims to encourage a more positive approach to sight loss and promote social inclusion of young visually impaired people in Scotland.
Mary Dallas, RNIB Education and Family Services Manager, informed members of a joint RNIB/LTS initiative which will provide information about visual impairment through Glow to non-VI specialists.

The afternoon session started with Dr Karl Wall, London University's Institute of Education who delivered a presentation on the new Habilitation course; the focus of which was to encourage a greater level of independent living for our young people. The SAVIE AGM also took place at this event and members were requested to update their contact details to assist with the successful delivery of future Minutes.

It was an extremely informative and well-attended event.

The next meeting will be held on 30th September at Raploch Community Campus in Stirling. The focus of the day will be Technology with presentations from Gordon Dutton on the Sight-Sim technology and from CALL Scotland. Teachers are invited to bring along a useful piece of technology or other resource, eg, glow torch, a teddy, etc, that they have found enhances a child's experience for a 'Show & Tell' session. For further information please contact Dominic Everett at:
dominic.everett@rnib.org.uk

Dominic Everett
Chair of SAVIE

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Guide Dogs could change your life

guide dogs

Do you or does someone you know, have sight loss that makes it difficult to get around independently or live life to the full? A guide dog could make a life-changing difference.
Did you know ...?

A guide dog can offer a unique, safe and effective way of getting about independently and confidently.

You don’t need to have lost all your sight. Most people who own a guide dog still have some vision. You don’t have to be formally registered as blind or partially-sighted either.

There is no upper age limit. People of all ages can now apply for a guide dog. Young people through to people in their 70s, 80s and even 90s become successful guide dog owners.

It costs just 50p to have a guide dog. All essential equipment and training is provided by Guide Dogs, and we can also cover the cost of vet bills and dog food if people wish. No previous experience of keeping a dog is necessary. Providing you are committed and able enough to work with, support and care for a guide dog then our training will teach you all you need to know.

It’s not just about improving mobility. A guide dog and its owner exist as a partnership, and the companionship, loyalty and fun that each partner brings to this relationship can be immensely rewarding.

Simply give us a call on 0845 372 7499 and we will arrange to come and talk to you, informally and confidentially, to help you decide if a guide dog might be suitable for you.

Our staff understand how severely people's independence can be affected by sight loss, and they can explore the best way of meeting your specific needs. You have nothing to lose and potentially much to gain by exploring all the options – so get in touch.

Pamela Munro
Information Officer, Guide Dogs

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Auditory Verbal Therapy

The Auditory Verbal (AV) approach aims to develop spoken language through listening. Historically, spoken language outcomes have been poor for children with hearing impairment. Expectations were rooted in poor outcomes and the goal of developing age-appropriate speech and language was considered unrealistic. However, times have changed. The early diagnosis of hearing impairment through the Newborn Hearing Screening Programme (NHSP) and advances in hearing technology mean that today, even the most profoundly hearing impaired child is able to access speech through hearing. "With the technology and early Auditory Verbal intervention available today, a child with a hearing loss can have the same opportunity as a child with typical hearing to develop audition, speech, language, cognition, competence in conversation and academic skills." (Flexer, 2000).

Neurological studies have shown that spoken language is an auditory process and therefore, the most effective way of learning spoken language is through hearing (Flexer, 2000). The AV approach aims to maximise children's spoken language through listening rather than visual cues.

In Auditory Verbal Therapy (AVT), expectations are high, and rooted in firm evidence (Eriks-Brophy, 2004; Rhoades, 2006) as well as clinical experience. The goal is for the hearing-impaired child to achieve age-appropriate spoken language so he can integrate successfully at mainstream school.

Parents are central to the AV approach. Therapy sessions aim to coach them to maximise their child's listening and use of spoken language learning by providing deliberately enhanced environments for language learning. This is achieved through both play and conversations, so children are unaware they are in a 'therapy' session.

AVT is diagnostic, meaning the therapist is constantly checking the child’s current abilities and planning what they need to learn next, within a developmental framework. Parents and therapists remain highly focused on the task at hand, namely to close the gap between a child's chronological age and their language age, and to achieve age-appropriate language by school entry.

The emphasis on listening during individual sessions enables children to become skilled listeners. In the more difficult auditory conditions of everyday life the child is able to make optimal use of auditory cues in combination with all other visual cues available.

Most children enter the programme with an existing language delay and a reduced rate of language development. The aim of AV intervention is to accelerate the rate of language growth in order to close the language gap. This is an achievable goal for the majority of hearing-impaired children.

Our expectation is that they will make at least time-over-time progress, ie, six months’ language growth over six months' time. In order to close the gap, children have to develop language at an even faster rate. If this does not occur, further investigations are made to identify the underlying cause and make the necessary changes to his package of support. For this group of children, the cause is often over and above the hearing impairment itself (eg, cognitive deficiency, language disorder, oro-motor speech disorder, auditory processing disorder).

At Auditory VerbalUK (AVUK), the Pre-school Language Scale 3 is used to obtain language age equivalence scores to monitor a child’s progress. The centre recently conducted a study comprising 37 children who had been attending fortnightly AV sessions for a minimum of 12 months. The results showed that at the end of the study period, over 70% of the children were developing spoken language at a faster rate than their typically developing peers and were therefore beginning to close the language gap (Hogan et al 2008).

The DCSF Early Support Programme and literature for families detailing communication approaches, describes AVT as one of the options which should be available to all families of children with hearing impairments. In order for the principles of informed choice to work effectively, professionals need to be well informed of the communication approaches available as well as their outcomes.

At present, there are 9 Certified Auditory-Verbal Therapists® in the UK. These are professionals who are qualified in Speech and Language Therapy, Education of the Deaf or Audiology and who have undertaken three years' post-graduate training in AVT. AVUK is the only centre in Europe exclusively offering AVT to families of pre-school children with hearing impairment. It is a registered charity whose goal is for every family to be able to choose and access Certified Auditory Verbal Therapy® where it is appropriate for their hearing-impaired child or children. AVUK offers services to families nationwide and delivers training to professionals nationally and internationally. There is an urgent need for more professionals to be trained in AVT. In order to meet this need, the centre has developed a Diploma in collaboration with Aston University (please see the AVUK website for more information).

The field of hearing impairment is exciting and fast changing. Developments in technology and therapy have meant that many children with hearing impairment are now able to achieve language and academic skills on a par with their hearing peers. The AV approach is rooted in evidence and has proven results. One parent comments "AVT has given my son a voice when there was silence. The method prises open doors that you didn’t know were there. AVT gives my son an enjoyable and positive approach to spoken language acquisition. Most of all AVT has given me hope rather than despair"

If you would like to find out more about AVT or if you want to visit our centre we would love to hear from you so please get in touch.

Catherine White
Auditory Verbal Therapist &
Speech and Language Therapist
AVUK, Oxfordshire.

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BSL Storytelling

The Scottish Storytelling Centre will award a £1,750 bursary to a storyteller telling in British Sign Language this year.

The Nancy and Hamish Taylor Bursary is awarded each year to support and recognise the achievements of an individual storyteller working in a specific way or with a particular audience. In 2011 the fund is supported by Creative Scotland, and will go towards a professional development programme for a storyteller whose first language is BSL or who primarily tells in BSL.

The Centre hopes that the Bursary will be an exciting beginning to exploring the creative boundaries of BSL and storytelling in Scotland.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Bursary and how to apply, please contact Esther Blackburn at esther@scottishstorytellingcentre.com for an application pack.

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Donaldson's: new Educational Psychologist

douglas

sychologist to work with pupils who are deaf or have communication difficulties.

Douglas Thomson has a long-standing interest in the education of deaf pupils and joins Donaldson's following a career in Educational Psychology which spans almost 40 years. Douglas was Principal Psychologist for Edinburgh the City of Edinburgh Council (for 6 years). Prior to this he was Principal Educational Psychologist for Cumbria County Council where he worked closely with a number of organisations which support deaf children and their families. He has extensive experience of the assessment and placement of pupils, and has worked with many of the specialist residential schools in Scotland and England.

Douglas will work directly with Donaldson's pupils, their teachers and parents to provide an educational environment to support each child's access and engagement with the curriculum. By assessing pupils' learning styles he can work with Donaldson's specialist staff: an Educational Audiologist, a team of Speech and Language Therapists, and Deaf Studies tutors to identify gaps in language development and assist teachers with classroom strategies.

Janice MacNeill, Donaldson's Principal commented that "the appointment of such an experienced Educational Psychologist to our staff team is very exciting, as his skills and expertise will greatly enhance and extend the quality of our service to our pupils and families. It is important that as Scotland's national school for children who are deaf or have a communication difficulty that we invest in our staff to ensure our pupils have the best access to learning and teaching, and we know that Douglas will support pupils, staff and families to make this happen." Douglas said, "I am really delighted to be joining Donaldson's and becoming part of the school community. It’s an exciting opportunity and I've felt very welcomed by everyone on the staff." Douglas adds that he is looking forward to improving his signing. "I passed Stage 1 in BSL in 1996 but it’s very rusty now!"

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Tributes: recent retirals

Professor Gordon Dutton

gordon

In the early 1980s, through my professional connections with the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Yorkhill, I met a charismatic young ophthalmologist called Gordon Dutton. He had a passion for communicating the wonders of the visual system and a commitment to promoting the development of children with visual impairment or blindness. When I moved to Moray House in 1984, to develop a new diploma course for teachers of children with visual impairment, I was determined that the teachers attending the future courses would have access to Gordon's inspiring teaching and his message of collaboration between professionals of different disciplines.

The establishment in 1991 of the Scottish Sensory Centre (SSC) provided new means to organise courses and conferences open to professionals and parents alike, and to invite presenters, such as Gordon to participate. In the mid 1990s, educational links across Europe for those involved with visual impairment were encouraged by ICEVI (Europe)*. Gordon Dutton soon became a popular and much sought-after contributor to educational conferences and workshops throughout Europe.

Gordon often spoke about ensuring that every child with visual impairment in Scotland and their family should have access to the best medical, educational and social work provision. In 1998 the SSC was able to collaborate with Gordon and other colleagues in successfully applying for funding for 'Visual Impairment Scotland' (VIS), and in serving as a base for the staff of this organisation for children with visual impairment and their parents.

Another long-term aim which Gordon promoted was the compiling of a multidisciplinary and international text book, accessible to, and appropriate for, both professional and parent readers. This aim was achieved with the publication in 2010 of 'Visual Impairment in Children due to Damage to the Brain' of which he is the editor, along with Martin Bax.

About 8 years ago, just before I retired, Gordon mentioned to me that he would retire at 58, and now it seems that he has reached this milestone. On behalf of myself, and many others, I would like to express our gratitude for the inspiration and expertise that Gordon Dutton brought to the study and management of visual impairment in children.

Gordon, may you enjoy and enrich the clinical, social and personal milieus which await you in the future.
Marianna Buultjens
(former SSC Co-ordinator)

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*International Council for the Education of the Visually Impaired

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Linda Sorensen

linda

As many of you will be aware Linda Sorenson Depute Head, Uddingston Grammar and Head of the Visual Impairment Unit within the school has recently retired. Linda will be missed as she has contributed greatly to the development of visual impairment education during her long and varied career with visually impaired children and young people.

Her experience in working with blind and visually impaired pupils began in 1978 when she was appointed as one of the first home visiting teachers for pre-school children in Lanark Division of Strathclyde Region. This involved travelling around what is now North and South Lanarkshire and working closely with families, psychologists and medical personnel. The close contact with families fostered an understanding of the impact of disability on family life which few teachers in schools can appreciate and which was invaluable in her later career. During the 11 years in this service, Linda worked in a team who advised Sense when they were opening a new facility for young people in Glasgow.

Originally, Linda began her professional life as a Maths/Science teacher in a hospital school in Inverness and in recent years she returned to this area of work. She has developed an expertise in this area working with visually impaired pupils and was the driving force behind the now well established Scottish Maths and Science Curriculum Support Groups. The groups developed invaluable resource booklets with guidelines for the adaptation of diagrams in these subjects. Linda prepared and edited the resources with support from other members of the groups but it was due to her commitment that they were developed. Linda represented the groups working closely with the SQA on the adaptation of exam papers and it was through this consultation that standards for the adaptation of papers were established.

Linda was also involved in Braille production for visually impaired pupils and for a time had responsibility for the Braille transcription unit within Uddingston Grammar. This led to a 6-month part-time secondment with RNIB Scotland researching the need for a national transcription service. This research involved visiting peripatetic teachers in all parts of Scotland to assess the difficulties in obtaining materials in Braille and large print. She also visited the National Braille Centre in Dublin which she saw as a model which Scotland could follow. This research was overtaken by 'Books for All' and a national service was never established.

Linda also has a love of music and is one of few people who are able to read music Braille. She has represented Scotland at conferences in Copenhagen and Prague to deliver papers on how music is taught to blind pupils in Scotland and the teaching of music Braille. Contacts made resulted in a group of education officers from the Czech Republic visiting Uddingston Grammar to see how they could improve their service.

Linda has always been willing to share this knowledge and expertise with others both informally and formally, contributing to CPD courses in the SSC and to the postgraduate programme where she delivered lectures to students on the Specialist Technology unit.

I am sure that you will agree that Linda deserves a long and happy retirement. She, in turn, must be pleased to know that she has influenced not only the lives of the children and young people that she was directly involved with in her teaching, but also many other pupils through her work with other teachers and professionals.

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Carnoustie High School leads the way in Deaf awareness

carnoustie high

Carnoustie High School in association with the Dundee Contemporary Arts Centre (DCA) provided, in January, full access for Deaf people to the film The King’s Speech. Pupils and members of the Deaf Community were invited to experience the film through the use of subtitles and BSL interpretation.

Access to subtitled films is a huge issue for Deaf people. Use of subtitles is essential as they give access to information and enhance their understanding of the film. Pupils’ experience to date is that subtitled films are not readily available - films with subtitles tend to be shown during the week and not at the weekend.

It also tends to be case that only larger cinema complexes in the bigger towns and cities provide subtitles which results in people having to travel further if they wish to experience a night out at the cinema. Also some Deaf people told me that on more than one occasion they had arrived at a cinema to find subtitles no longer available.

Having a film with subtitles and signed by a trained interpreter was perhaps a first in Dundee and certainly a first for the DCA who were keen to support our work. The DCA contact was Katherine Simpson who heads up the Discovery Film Festival; her view was, "It has been great to work with Carnoustie High and the BSL interpreters on providing this assisted screening. We are learning from the experience and hope it will enable us to develop our ability to provide this kind of service in future. The film itself is incredibly uplifting and empowering, and has been very popular, so we hope the pupils will enjoy their time at DCA watching the film."

Thanks to the DCA for their support and commitment to providing access to the Arts especially to our pupils who have a hearing impairment. Their commitment has allowed Deaf people to fully access and enjoy a cinema experience, in the company of other members of the Deaf Community.

Gill Ferris

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Scottish Accessible Information Forum

Sign Language Interpreting Service

In 2009 Scottish Accessible Information Forum (SAIF) carried out research into public service providers and accessible information. One area highlighted by participants as a barrier to inclusive communication was the cost and limited availability of British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters.

Recently, a new pilot online BSL interpreting service has been developed which may offer a solution to some of those challenges.

Lynda Donnelly, First Stop Shop Manager at North Lanarkshire Council has been working with Social Work Services to improve access to services for deaf people in the local community.

A six-month pilot scheme has been launched which will see a number of deaf people issued with net books, video phones and webcams (to be used with a home computer) to allow them access to an interpreter any time between 9 am and 4.30 pm, Monday to Friday.
The team leading this service recognise that the costs required for a single council to take this forward after the pilot may be prohibitive. However, if a number of organisations worked together to offer the service, then the costs could be shared.

If you are interested in finding out more please contact Lynda directly on 01698 274377 or 07793 599275 or by email at DonnellyLy@northlan.gov.uk

Susan Burn
Project Officer
Scottish Accessible Information Forum
Consumer Focus Scotland
Royal Exchange House
100 Queen Street
Glasgow G1 3DN

    Telephone: 0141 226 5261
    Fax: 0141 221 9695

  • Website: www.saifscotland.org.uk
  • twitter: www.twitter.com/SAIFscotland
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    News Roundup

    BSL Resources for Young People

    Childline have produced some videos for young people that include a BSL translation and transcripts. At the moment subjects include:
    Bullying

    • Cyber bullying
    • Family relationships
    • Pregnancy
    • Physical abuse
    • Sexual abuse
    • Neglect
    • Emotional abuse
    • Divorce and separation

    Childline are currently working to produce more videos from this series with BSL translation. Videos can be accessed via the Childline website:

  • www.childline.org.uk/Play/Pages/BSLVideos.aspx
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    The British Wireless for the Blind Fund

    audio equipment which has been specially designed and adapted for listeners living with sight loss. All our radios are made available on Free Loan to Blind and Partially Sighted people who meet our criteria. The new Sonata Internet Audio Player is our latest most innovative product through which listeners can access a range of services from radio to talking newspapers, magazines and books. To find out more about Sonata visit: http://www.blind.org.uk/radios_sonata.html. We welcome enquiries about the service and all of the equipment we provide.

    Steven Poole, Regional Development Manager, British Wireless for the Blind Fund, 10 Albion Place, Maidstone, Kent ME14 5DZ
    Tel: 01622 754757 (Head Office)

  • Web: www.blind.org.uk
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    Funding opportunity for visually impaired students

    While recent recipients of grants have been musically talented students, financial assistance may now also be available for educational visits. Please check the website for more information about applying:

  • weblink
  • The Trust is administered by Thorntons Solicitors, Dundee (Tel: 01382 229111). If you have any questions, please ring them and ask to speak to Nick Barclay or Graeme Fulton who will be able to provide more information. Preference will be given to applicants resident, or normally resident, in Scotland.

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    Deaf Youth Theatre in Scotland

    The Solar Bear theatre company based in Glasgow established Scotland’s first Deaf Youth Theatre (DYT) in January 2008. The Deaf Youth Theatre is open to young people aged between 12 and 21 and members use a variety of communication methods. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a member of DYT please get in touch with gerry@solarbear.org.uk

    Solar Bear aims to develop new multidisciplinary theatre-making processes in order to create exciting, pioneering, accessible theatre of the highest quality for and with people of all ages.

    “We aim to ensure that our work, both our learn strand and main stage productions, is accessible to as wide a range of people as possible. To this end we have worked with a broad variety of excluded groups. The Company is also passionate about artistic developments in regard to inclusive work from an aesthetic point of view, and have integrated audio description and British Sign Language into on-stage action. In this respect we are often regarded as a leader in the field.” For more information, please visit their website:

  • http://www.solarbear.org.uk/deaf-youth-theatre.html
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    Deaf Achievements Scotland Study

    Julie Arendt

    Julie Arendt

    Calling teachers of deaf children

    Researchers based in the Moray House School of Education in Edinburgh need your help! Rachel O'Neill, Lecturer in Deaf Education and a trainer of teachers of deaf children, is working on the Deaf Achievement Scotland (DAS) study, which is interested in how the lives of young deaf people have developed after leaving school. They are trying many ways to reach young deaf people aged 18-28, through advertising their online survey on Facebook, on relevant websites, and in many NHS Audiology Departments. But it is personal contact which often helps most, and this is where they would like your help. If you are in contact with any deaf young person you have taught in the last 10 years, would you be willing to contact them to let them know about the study?

    The study has a web page and online survey, which can be found at

  • www.deafachieve.org.uk
  • Further information can be sent to you, eg; posters and questionnaires, so if you can help, please get in touch with Rachel at

  • rachel.oneill@ed.ac.uk, or the new research fellow on the DAS project, Julie Arendt,
  • at
  • Julie.Arendt@ed.ac.uk
  • The names of all the deaf young people aged 18-28 who complete a survey will be entered into a 100 prize draw. If you are a teacher of deaf children and you get in touch with DAS to find out more about the project and reaching the young deaf people, then DAS will also enter your name into a separate teachers' prize draw of 100.