University of Edinburgh

"Meaningful Participation": facilitating learning for pupils with visual impairment and additional difficulties

Presented on Tuesday 18 January 2011


Pupils who have additional difficulties in addition to visual impairment need well-planned activities of teaching and learning to be able to interact with an participate in the world around them.  This one-day course will address:

  • The impact of visual impairment on learning and development. The range of additional difficulties that might be present and the impact of these.
  • What is "meaningful participation"?
  • Pupil-led active learning.
  • Communication strategies.
  • Teaching and learning strategies and resources for this.

Target Audience: Teachers of VI children, classroom teachers and staff who support children and young people with multiple disabilities, including MDVI, other professionals and parents.

Presenters: Janis Sugden, Coordinator Scottish Sensory Centre,
Julie Shylan, Principal, The Royal Blind School, Edinburgh.


  • 10.20 am Introduction, Janis Sugden
  • 11 am The nature and diversity of Multiple Disabilities and Visual impairment (MDVI), Julie Shylan

    11.30 am Problem-Based Learning - What is 'Meaningful Participation'?

    12 noon Strategies

    Active learning
    Pupil-led interaction
    Canaan-Barrie Signing
    Multi-sensory approaches
    Inter-disciplinary teams

    1 pm Resources

    1.30 pm Class observation - music lesson

    2 pm School tour and observation

    2.30 pm Feedback and discussion from observations

  • 3 pm Course evaluation and close