University of Edinburgh

Vision for Doing Assessing Functional Vision of Learners who are Multiply Disabled


We have many people and organisations to thank for giving us the time, venues, encouragement, constructive feedback and other assistance duhng the long course of producing this book. The Scottish Office Education Department and Moray House College, Edinburgh, both gave funding for various stages of ther esearch on which this book is based. Other centres which contributed to this in ways other than financial were the Royal Blind School, CALL Centre (both in Edinburgh), and Sense Scotland (based in Glasgow); also a large number of schools, in particular Stanmore House, Croftcroighn and James Macfarlane in Strathclyde Region,as well as others in Grarnpian, Dumfries and Galloway, Lothian, Fife and Tayside Regions. Without the cooperation of staff from these regions it would have been difficult to have achieved our objectives. For several years, teachers on the Moray House Diploma course for Teachers of Visually Impaired Children have used our approach to assessing functional vision. We are grateful to them for providing useful insights and comments.

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust granted a Fellowship which allowed cross-cultural comparisons to be made. During that Fellowship, long-lasting working relationships and friendships were made. We think of Refsnaesskolan, especially Dr Lilli Nielsen; of Eva Lindstedt, Harry Svensson, Gunilia Stenberg and Kirsten Fellenius of Tomteboda; Sonja Jari of Ekeskolan; Ton Visser and Jan van Dijk of St. Micheisgestel; and many more.

Our own colleagues have offered the detached criticism necessary for keeping our feet firmly on the ground. Among these were Phil Odor - whose feedback on the model presented was vital - Sally Millar, Paul Nisbet, Margaret Milne, Margaret Lee, Rae Baikie, Jill Morbey and Paul Ennals. lain Prain's impatience to see the final product embarrassed us enough to complete the work. Drs Eva Lindstedt, Mette Warburg, Gordon Dutton, Patricia Sonksen, Lilli Nielsen and Professors Alistair Fielder and Calbert Phillips gave us inspiration in different forms. Laura Pease of Whitefield School, London shared with us terminology and useful suggestions.

Had it not been for Alastair Milne OBE, we would not have embarked on the project. However, we managed to return the favour by having him read early drafts of the book. In reading final drafts, Joyce Wilson of Sense Scotland and Paul Ennals of Royal National Institute for the Blind, London, gave us valuable comments and encouragement. Despite them both having extremely tight schedules, they gave time to this onerous task.

Final words of gratitude go to the children, young people and families we have met in the course of our work. We thank our families - Eldridge, John and Agnes, and Barbara, Ruth, Catriona and Mairi - for their endurance. Dr Capell and Sulphasalazine helped the fingers type as did staff of the Disablement Advisory Service at Kilmarnock, Ayrshire. Moira Nicol, Alyson Campbell and Aileen Stewart at CTPU Moray House did a great job in creating diagrams, selecting fonts and generally making the final product a whole lot better to look at.