University of Edinburgh

Positive Looking: A Practical Approach to Supporting the Development of Visual Skills

Presented on Wednesday, 21st September 2016


This course explored a simple step-by-step framework to support the development of visual skills in children with visual impairment.

The course took practitioners through the hierarchy of visual skills with explanation of what is meant by each skill and the goal for development in each case. It included demonstrations of how to develop each skill; ideas and activities to support the practitioner in planning targeted interventions and observation points to help assess and identify when the child is responding and demonstrating the visual skill.

A wide range of resources for each visual skill and how to use them formed the main part of this practical, interactive course

Participants said:

"Will use in all practice - so many ideas, particularly for using with babies. Lots of practical activities. A great structure to follow."

"Presenter was very knowledgeable, easy to listen to. Relaxed, clear, concise, easily understood. Very practical and informative. Good fun. Well presented. All questions asked answered. Interesting and fun approach."

"I am just starting in VI and found this so valuable to inform my knowledge/practice."


Target Audience

Those working with children to assess vision, stimulate vision, maintain vision and encourage children to maximise the use of their residual vision.


Gwyneth McCormack, Director, Positive Eye Ltd.


10.30 am Overview: Hierarchy of visual skill development

Goals, resources, activities, observation points:

  • Visual Awareness
  • Visual Attention
  • Fixation
  • Transferring gaze

1.30 pm Overview: Hierarchy of visual skill development

Goals, resources, activities, observation points:

  • Scanning
  • Visually directed reaching
  • Discrimination of objects
  • Discrimination of images
  • Identification of letters, numbers

Apply the learning:

  • Respond to a given scenario regarding childrenā€˜s visual skill development.
  • Plan a session for the child including: goal, activity, observation points, make a resource to support the visual skill.

3.30 pm Course Evaluation and close