- Posted by: Valerie Vaz MP
- Category: News
On Tuesday 15 March 2016 I met Jenny Holder, ( left) in the photo, a Specialist Family Support Officer at Blind Children UK.
Jenny showed me a CustomEyes large print version of Harry Potter, and told me about the valuable services Blind Children UK provide, which involves working with blind and partially sighted children and young people and their families, offering support, advice and expertise.
The Family Support Team, for example, give emotional and practical help and information, and provide subsidised opportunities for families to attend trips and activities. The Education Support Team provide parents and carers with advice about the child’s statutory rights, explain terminology, and offer support with processes and forms. The Movement Matters Service help children to develop vital movement, orientation and independence skills.
Blind Children UK are also experts on habilitation. Habilitation training provides children with alternative ways of learning fundamental practical and social skills, such as washing, dressing, eating, shopping and cooking; the skills which sighted children will develop more easily, and by watching others. It specifically develops a child’s early movement skills, using the child’s other senses: touch, hearing, taste, smell, and balance.
Habilitation maximises the child’s personal independence, and prepares them for young adulthood, whether that means university, an apprenticeship, or work, and is provided by local authorities. Habilitation professionals can be based in education, health or social care, or voluntary organisations.
It was good to meet Jenny and hear about Blind Children UK, and you can visit their website for more information at http://www.blindchildrenuk.org/.