The Corona Virus has disrupted all of our lives in so many ways. With schools across the UK now closed, life’s routine has been interrupted as many of you are at home with your child for the foreseeable future, potentially juggling your own work and their learning needs.

We realise that this could be a stressful time for many thinking of you, and naturally, there’s more to consider for children with Visual Impairment and other needs. We want to help all parents and guardians of visually impaired children during this difficult time. Look is here for you – we know you’ve got this!

Following our online Home Learning Q&A session with Jtonight with Education Specialist John Milligan from the Norfolk Virtual School, John Turnbull – Specialist Education Officer, Jemma Kegan, Advice Team Manager, and Andrea Davies – Special Education Officer from the Guide Dogs UK Education Team, we have compiled a list of FAQs, top tips and recommended resources. We will continually add to this list, and please do contact us if your specific question is not covered here.

Home Learning Podcast

If you were unable to attend our Home Schooling your Visually Impaired child Q&A, you can listen to the recording by pressing the button below.

Home Learning Resources

RNIB

RNIB have two key resources online which will be updated on a regular basis:

For families please visit – https://www.sightadvicefaq.org.uk/independent-living/Covid-19-CYPF-SAFAQ

And for professionals – https://www.rnib.org.uk/educationprofessionals

Guide Dogs

Resources for parents to use with children and young people of all ages, from very young to those studying at A-Level:

https://www.guidedogs.org.uk/coronavirus/Services/Resources-for-learning-at-home

Accessible home learning with RNIB Bookshare – information for parents

If you have a child who has a print disability that affects their reading RNIB Bookshare can help with access to nearly half a million curriculum and leisure titles in accessible formats at all educational levels. If your child does not already have access to this service through their school, RNIB don’t want any child to miss out on the books and resources they need whilst they are having to learn at home. Please email them proof of your child’s disability along with your name and your contact details and RNIB will make sure they get access to the services for titles they need. Contact Bookshare@rnib.org.uk or tel. 0300 3038313.

www.rnibbookshare.org

American Printing House for the Blind

APH has uploaded a huge variety of online learning videos for a variety of ages:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6bmC55gfl0&list=PLUj6DcM1nN3EGnleJhGT296nMNJj9IwmB

HumanWare

Humanware offering free weekly webinars around braille tech on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4pm:

http://support.humanware.com/en-usa/support/humanware_live_webinar_series

Dolphin Super Nova

Dolphin is offering 3 months free access to its Super Nova screen reader and magnification software.

https://info.yourdolphin.com/en-gb/covid19?mc_cid=5a9d568bf2&mc_eid=6868a3681d&fbclid=IwAR1mb7czB6K-tnHyhzS0Jf1jxmnc72VK6AW7zGT65WMPURyrNe01pwikLrQ

Special Needs Jungle

SNJ has compiled an outstanding range of online resources:

https://www.specialneedsjungle.com/distance-education-resources-for-children-and-young-people-with-send/

Twinkl

Twinkl is giving parents and teachers free access to resources for the next month. It covers the ‘Ultimate membership’ package. If you don’t cancel after the offer period, it’s £8.50 for the following months (which is still great value for money!).

https://www.twinkl.co.uk/offer use the code UKTWINKLHELPS

Audible

Audible is offering a variety of audio-books, free-of-charge, with titles for the littlest of listeners right through to classic tomes:

https://stories.audible.com/discovery?fbclid=IwAR2Cx7J79Po37hX5G3UNTT0IzvYq6ZmDzP2cSjdX16qNUJnIQW5Px5lbM_k

Part Sight

Part Sight still open for orders of bold-lined school exercise books and other resources for any parents who are home-schooling their children.

They also have free VI sample packs if parents are unsure of what books to order.

If you would like a free VI pack, catalogue or to place an order email: reception@partsight.org.uk or anita@partsight.org.uk or call 01302 965195.

FAQs

Q. “How can I get hard copy Braille books and materials now that schools are closed?”

QTVI: “Use resources like the RNIB Bookshare or ClearVision for books to read with children.”

Q: “My daughter gets very stressed when she can’t do something and I’m worried about the strain it’s putting on our relationship.”

QTVI: “Try not to worry about keeping up with your child’s peers. Instead, read at a pace that is comfortable.”

Q: “We don’t have the tech at home to assist my son with his learning. What can we do?”

QTVI: “Suppliers of specialist tech equipment are beginning to produce more user information to help during the crisis. HumanWare is now hosting free weekly live webinars to assist users with their products remotely.
Contact specialist VI tech suppliers to find out what remote learning resources they are offering or plan to implement.
The Equality Act sets out that a child is entitled to the tools they require to learn and study from home.
Contact your child’s school to request the tools and equipment needed for homeschooling.
Ask your school to provide online training for using tech equipment at home.”