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Assessment & Advice Officers are funded through Sense's charitable resources, each Sense operational area has an Assessment & Advice Officer[AAO].
The Assessment & Advice Officer provides assessment and advice to newly identified deafblind people to help them access appropriate support and services. The AAO will actively identify deafblind people within the local area and engage with them and, if appropriate, their carers and current providers of services to offer appropriate support.
Where specialist assessments in respect of deafblind people are required under the Deafblind Guidance, 'Social Care for Deafblind Children and Adults', the AAO is fully qualified to carry out the assessment or work with another colleague within Sense who is qualified to undertake such an assessment.
In order to be clear and open about the support we can provide to families we have developed a core offer of support which is available to all children and young people:
• We will get in touch within two working days from when you first contact Sense
• You will meet a Sense specialist within eight weeks of first getting in touch with us
• You will have your own identified worker
• You will have the opportunity to attend at least one family event per year
• We will keep in touch through an annual contact
• You will have access the information and advice service
• We will offer you the chance to join Sense through our membership programme
• An outcome of Sense supporting you may involve our working alongside your local authority to provide an individual service solution tailored to your needs.
This offer is provided through Sense’s work as a charity.
One-to-One support to Deafblind children and adults, acting as an enabler for the individual to help in their social and personal development, as well as health and general wellbeing.
By providing one-to-one support to congenitally Deafblind children or adults, an Intervenor acts as an enabler, promoting the person's social and personal development, encouraging their independent skills and facilitating their communication with the world around them. Intervenor support may be provided in the person's home, in their local community, in an educational or vocational setting or a combination of these.
Intervenor schemes are usually funded by direct payments, individual budgets, social services, local health or education authorities. A person-centred approach to planning for leisure, learning, social, and vocational opportunities, enables Deafblind people to develop new skills and increase their independence. Individual programmes focus on daily life experiences and will include encouraging the use of residual vision and hearing, communication, development of cognitive skills, mobility, orientation and social skills.
Activities which might be included in an individual plan are: college courses, sport and leisure, art and craft activities, shopping, cooking, IT, use of public transport. Choices are made by the Deafblind person to suit their needs and interests.
The Visual Impairment Team is part of the Sensory & Communication Support Team (SCST). The team consists of 2 Qualified Teachers for Visually Impaired Pupils (QTVI), 4 Specialist Support Assistants (STA) and a Resources Officer/Technician.
We support children and young people who are aged 0-25, their families and staff. We visit home and educational settings in order to facilitate and monitor their access to learning.
We work with the relevant professionals and families to enable the CYP to access all aspects of the academic and social life of their educational setting. The QTVI or STA visits the CYP at agreed intervals according to need, using the National Sensory Impaired Partnership (NATSIP) eligibility criteria. The keyworker liaises with staff/ family on issues relating to the particular needs of the pupil. The team has strong links with other professionals who work with visually impaired CYP including Orthoptists, Paediatric Ophthalmologists and Mobility Officers.
Our work includes the following:
• Assessing access to the curriculum.
• The loan of specialist equipment and software as required by individual pupils.
Offering advice and support in the modification and differentiation of curricular materials.
• Providing INSET to schools/settings, (small group or whole staff), to raise awareness of the implications of teaching a pupil who has a visual impairment.
• Discussions with the pupil to ascertain and assess any problems or difficulties relating to their access to the curriculum due to a Visual Impairment.
• Discussions with parents / carers, SENCo and staff involved with the pupil
Contributing to IEPs
• Contributing to the statutory assessment process (EHCP) and Annual Reviews
• Writing reports for the school/setting, outlining observations and discussion points arising from the visit. This information will be shared with parents / carers and other professionals involved with the pupil as appropriate.
We currently run a half-termly group at the CDC for young VI children and their families.
We hold occasional ‘Leisure & Lifeskills’ sessions for CYP with severe Visual impairments who attend mainstream schools.
The Hearing Impaired Team is part of the Sensory & Communication Support Team (S&CST). We support children and young people aged 0-25, their carers /families and staff in educational settings. All Bedford Borough pre-school children diagnosed with a hearing loss are visited at home and/or in their pre-school setting in order to facilitate and monitor speech, language and communication development. In Bedford Borough’s mainstream and special schools, including the Hearing Impaired Provision, pupils who have a hearing impairment are offered support from a qualified Teacher of the Deaf (ToD). Pupils who have hearing aids/cochlear implants are seen regularly; advice is given regarding pupils who have temporary fluctuating hearing difficulties or who have a unilateral hearing loss.
The HI team aims to work with the relevant professionals and parents/carers to enable the pupil to access all aspects of the academic and social life of the educational setting. The ToD visits the pupil at agreed intervals according to need, as identified in conjunction with the National Sensory Impaired Partnership (NATSIP) eligibility criteria. The ToD. liaises with a designated member of staff on issues relating to the particular needs of the pupil. The team liaises with, refers to and receives referrals from other agencies as appropriate e.g. Speech and Language Therapy.
Role of the qualified Teacher of the Deaf
• Visits to pre-school children at home, in clinic and the educational setting
• Observation of school age pupils in class as appropriate
• Discussion with the pupil to ascertain and assess any problems of difficulties
• Discussion with the SENCo and staff involved with the pupil
• Under discussion with the SENCo, contribute to an IEP
• Contribute to the statutory assessment process and to annual reviews
• Acoustic check and maintenance of hearing aids and FM systems
• Carry out language assessments
• Offer advice on modification and differentiation of curricular materials
• Provide INSET to the school/setting, either small group or whole staff to raise awareness of the implications of a hearing loss in the classroom.
• Write a report following each visit the school/setting outlining observations and discussion points arising from the session. This may include practical advice relating to the hearing impaired pupil to be shared with all relevant staff. Any action points will be recorded. This information will be shared with parents / carers and other professionals involved with the pupil as appropriate
• Follow Local Authority Guidelines on Safeguarding Children
01234 300710 (voice & text)
Sibs exists to support people who grow up with or have grown up with a disabled brother or sister. It is the only UK charity representing the needs of over half a million young siblings and over one and a half million adult siblings.
Siblings have a lifelong need for information, they often experience social and emotional isolation, and have to cope with difficult situations. They also want to have positive relationships with their disabled brothers and sisters and to be able to choose the role they play in future care and support.
Our Vision - The long-term wider change we’re aiming for:
Children and young people achieve better outcomes because their parents will have been able successfully to navigate the SEND system. Additionally, those working with such children can access good quality information and improve their ability and communication skills when working with families.
Special Needs Jungle creates easy to understand resources, articles and information for parents and carers of children with special needs, disabilities and health conditions to better enable them to navigate the special needs system. We aim to inform, educate and empower families to self-advocate confidently, so their children get the help they need to live the best life they can.
We have a clear plan for children and young people in settings and schools so that we can identify early SEND needs and provide support through a process of good planning and reviewing. To this end we have produced two Graduated Response documents which outline and provide a clear message about responsibilities for early identification of need and what can be done to ensure plans are in place to support children and pupils with additional needs.
The Disability Resource Centre is an independent organisation and a registered charity, it is known as a User Led organisation which means it involves disabled people as trustees staff and volunteers. The centre is a focal point for disability services throughout Bedfordshire and Luton. It aims to
- enable people with a disability and their carers to have easy access to the information and equipment they require to live independently
- encourage the involvement of people with disabilities in the provision of services
- promote awareness of the needs of people with disabilities
- encourage collaborative services for people with disabilities
Our Disability Advice Service offers Information and Advice on a wide variety of topics relating to disability including things such as support groups, leisure activities, holidays, home visiting services, statutory services etc. We have a large equipment display area where you can try out different pieces of equipment to find the right solution for you, and now purchase from us too. We also hire out some equipment like wheelchairs, frames, crutches etc. We also offer benefits advice, assisting with form filling, and appeals and preparing for tribunal as well as benefit checks.
We also have a PA Academy for Personal Assistants and employers. Training includes First Aid, Moving and Handling, and other relevant topics, as well as specialist training modules. Courses run at various locations in Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and Milton Keynes.