University of Edinburgh

Scottish Sensory Centre: 10 Years On

Looking to the Future

We believe that having built up a team and expertise over the past 10 years, the SSC is in a strong position to move forward with its services and innovations to support and encourage those involved with children and young people with sensory impairment and the young people themselves.

We have proven in the past that we can react quickly and flexibly to the continuous change which we are experiencing nationally in education by responding to consultations and supporting developments and intend to continue this work in the future.

We also ensure continuity of development by recognising that individuals are at different stages in their knowledge, understanding and skills. We have provided differentiated courses on basic topics from year to year, eg, audiology; assessing vision in children with complex learning needs and visual impairment; British Sign Language and Braille.
SSC are also ready to take the initiative in terms of developing new approaches to provision. Our work in multi-media bilingual support for deaf pupils, Deaf Studies, access to multi-media for students with visual impairment, and emphasis on social inclusion, is helping to provide new opportunities for deaf and visually impaired children and young people. These initiatives are often underpinned by research undertaken by staff and by their close links with deaf and visually impaired people themselves.

Marian Grimes working with a family


For 10 years SSC has been providing services for children and young people with sensory impairment to the education community and others. We are often the first port of call for queries on deafness and visual impairment education. We are recognised and well-respected suppliers of information through our websites and databases and of training through our courses. Teachers and others make constant and grateful use of our postal lending library service. Education Authorities and other statutory and voluntary bodies approach us for advice and membership of committees and working parties.

Without the continued core funding from Scottish Executive Education Department, for which we are most grateful, we would be unable to provide the above services. The numbers of children and young people with sensory impairments is small, but their needs for appropriate and effective education is great. A Centre dedicated to developments in this area is a resource which can be called upon and relied upon by the education community as well as the Scottish Executive Education Department itself.

As more and more children with sensory impairment follow the path of inclusion, the information and training needs, at all levels, for their educational staff is increasing. Quick and easy access to information through websites and databases is essential. Being able to contact experienced staff for more complex queries remains a must. The SSC can and does meet these needs and with continued core funding and additional sources of funding for innovation and research it will continue to do so.