Eyes and Independence
I just can't emphasise enough the importance of inviting highly skilled, experienced, specialised professionals/providers into your family's world. It does not just involve one therapist or one school staff member. The journey for your child will involve numerous people and you get to choose who and when they can provide. Teams are strongly encouraged so if one or two can't provide it all, the referral process for others can begin.
Children with vision impairment are entitled to equity of access, i.e. the right to access all aspects of life as they choose. To achieve this they must be supported from the time that their vision impairment is diagnosed and as they travel on their educational journey. Children with vision impairment need advocacy to achieve their goals in education and life. It is vital that professionals supporting them can guarantee reasonable adaptations, assistive technology, and accessible resources to facilitate their learning and development. Children with vision impairment are more often than not complex individuals, with multiple health issues and other diagnoses. This makes it vital that professionals supporting these children are knowledgeable and willing to advocate for the rights of children to access to all aspects of their community. Professionals must also play an active role in encouraging families to advocate for their children. To this end, families must understand the meaning of their child’s vision impairment and the impact it has on their child. Families must be empowered to advocate on behalf of their child, and in partnership with professionals and their child, to make informed choices regarding this support. This information has been taken directly from the SPEVI website.
Parents, families and professionals are strongly encouraged to contact The South Pacific Educators in Vision Impairment (SPEVI), the major professional association for educators of students with vision impairments in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific region, with any questions regarding support for their child with vision impairment.
SPEVI website: http://www.spevi.net/contact/
Kerri Weaver is a passionate and caring service provider. She loves sharing her knowledge and skills to supporting those with vision impairment and additional disabilities. Kerri has worked in the field of disability for over 30 years. Her experience includes working in Tonga with a specialist team on multiple occasions.
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