Habilitation VI UK are a group of professionals who work with Children & Young People (C&YP) who have a visual impairment. We have many different titles such as Habilitation Specialists.
We are all Specialists in Mobility & Independence Skills and our aim is to enable a child or young person to attain and maintain maximum independence, full physical, mental, social and vocational ability; full inclusion and participation in all aspects of life (as stated in Article 26 Convention on the rights of Persons with Disabilities).
Our work focuses on teaching mobility and independence skills which are important educational outcomes and form an essential part of the extended curriculum for C&YP with a visual impairment. Our students are usually in the age range of birth to 19 years old although many Specialists now also work with young adults who have a visual impairment up to age 25, since the publication of the SEND Guidelines 2015 . Children in Scotland with Special Educational Needs, referred to ASL, Additional Support for Learning, will usually be subject to a CSP (Co-Ordinated Support Plan). This document outlines the multi-agency involvement in the child’s care. There will also be an IEP (individual educational programme) which details progress and targets in literacy, numeracy and health & well being. A considerable proportion of the C&YP that we work with have additional disabilities such as physical and learning disabilities.
Qualified Habilitation Specialists around the UK are able to provide the following services:
- Assessment of the C&YP with a visual impairment
- Early Movement Programmes – to enable development of body image and movement
- Concept Development – to understand similarities and differences of themselves and others
- Sensory Skills Programmes – e.g. gross and fine motor skills, tactile, auditory, olfactory and textures (messy play)
- Orientation & Mobility Training – indoor, outdoor, community travel
- Independent Travel Skills– within the home, nursery, school and the wider environment – Public Transport
- Independent Living Skills – e.g. dressing (organising clothes, doing up buttons, zips & tying laces), brushing teeth, using cutlery, organisation & safety in the kitchen, food preparation, cooking safely (at home and at school)
- Braille Support – within the community (shopping lists, reminders etc)
- Social Skills Programmes – 1:1 support and through group workshops and role play to enable the C&YP to make choices, build social confidence and ask for help
- Wheelchair/Adaptive Mobility Programmes
- Supporting Specific Needs within the curriculum – e,g, Physical education and food tech lessons
- Handling Money – identifying coins and notes, calculating change
- Tailored Programmes for C&YP with a visual impairment and complex/additional needs
- Supporting the Family – working together – joint planning and reviewing outcomes, signposting to other services and organisations
- Environmental Audits – for nurseries, schools & colleges
- Training/ CPD programmes for professionals working with C&YP with a visual impairment
- Assess and provide auxiliary aids
- Education & Healthcare Plans – prepare Habilitation reports to contribute to the EHCP process
- Attend EHCP and Transition Reviews – where Habilitation training is required
- Advise on mobility/independent living skills equipment for school and home
This is not an exhaustive list, but offers an insight to the extensive training an Habilitation Specialist is able to provide to ensure a Child or Young Person is given the opportunities to learn, thrive and achieve the necessary skills for life.
Here at HAB VI UK we strive to ensure all Qualified Habilitation Specialists are supported in their Practice. We offer specialist and relevant certified training to maintain the high Quality Standards, develop knowledge and increase professional confidence to plan, develop and review age/stage appropriate training programmes which are essential when working with children and young people with a visual impairment.