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First Published Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Letter in Braille

The Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) is working on a project about visual impairment and autism. The project is now under way and will run until August 2010.


The project’s partners are the RNIB, Brookfields School, The National Autistic Society (NAS), and Sunfield. There is a steering group made up of staff from each of these organisations.


The intention is to develop resources that give practitioners information about approaches and strategies that have been used successfully with children who have both visual impairment and autism.


We have run a pilot survey at Brookfields School, looking at the strategies employed there with children in this group. Next, we will be surveying pupils in a number of other schools, including specialist schools for visually impaired children; local authority day special schools; and mainstream schools.


Many practitioners have contacted us to say that they work with pupils who have both visual impairment and autism. We hope to include these children in the survey as well.


While our primary concern is the strategies employed in schools, we will also ask parents and carers of the children who take part in our survey about any strategies they use at home.


For more information, visit the project’s website.


The project can be contacted


  • *by email: vi-autism.medina@tiscali.co.uk
  • *by post: Ian Bell
    Visual Impairment and Autism Project
    c/o RNIB Children’s Services
    RNIB Regional Centre
    58-72 John Bright Street
    Birmingham B1 1BN
  • *by telephone: 07920 252 383.

Notes


Brookfields School is a West Berkshire day school for pupils with learning difficulties, including needs associated with autism and sensory impairment.
www.westberks.org/grouphomepage.asp?groupID=2558


The RNIB’s website is: www.rnib.org.uk


Sunfield, a UK charity, provides residential care, education and outreach support for children with severe and complex learning needs, many of whom have autism. www.sunfield.org.uk



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