RNIB launches new early years resources

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A DVD to support parents of blind or partially sighted children has been launched by Scottish sight-loss charities.

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The DVD seeks to help support parents of blind and partially-sighted children Photo: RNIB

The 40-minute film, entitled Let Me Play, has been produced by RNIB Scotland, the Scottish Sensory Centre and the Royal Blind School in Edinburgh.

The DVD was launched at a meeting of the cross-party group on visual impairment in the Scottish Parliament this week.

It will be promoted among specialist teachers across Scotland, who will be encouraged to use it as a training tool to strengthen engagement between home and school.

Let Me Play will also be made available to all families of children aged five and under living with sight loss in Scotland.

The DVD, which was filmed in family homes and at a nursery, includes narration, audio description and sign language, and is available in a variety of languages.

Dominic Everett, education and family services manager with RNIB Scotland who has sight loss himself, said, ‘The most common question I hear from parents of very young children with sight loss is “How do I play with him or her?”'

According to feedback, 70 per cent of parents want to know more about helping their child interact with their immediate surroundings, siblings and eventually the nursery and school they will attend.

The new DVD demonstrates scenarios that encourage better posture, movement and exploration of space, often significant challenges to very young blind and partially-sighted children.

‘Parents require support and advice on how to engage more effectively with babies and infants, to stimulate and nurture them through positive play techniques. These can help the whole family assist with the early development of the child.

‘These will lay the foundation for better personal independence as the child reaches school age.’

Janis Sugden, co-ordinator of the Scottish Sensory Centre, added, ‘The DVD offers exciting possibilities for learning, not only for parents but also for a range of practitioners across the early-years sector. We will build on this work by offering further training sessions and support to those working in this sector enhancing their continuing professional development.’