Vision is something most of us take for granted, but for a child who has the added challenge of having a Vision Impairment in addition to a diagnosed cognitive disability, the support of these specialists within school is essential.
In New Zealand all Vision Resource Teachers (VRTs) are employed by BLENNZ (Blind and Low Vision Education Network New Zealand). All are qualified teachers who have received additional specialist training in Vision Impairment; associated teaching practices/methods; supportive technologies and the wide array of professionals able to offer individuals and their family/whanau on-going support throughout their lives.
Here at Goldfields we are fortunate to directly contract a VRT from BLENNZ and have her as a part of our core staff team.
The Vision Resource Teacher works closely with students, their families/whanau and staff here at school to ensure that:
· All students are properly assessed and supported
· Clinical advice and guidance is integrated into their home and school lives
· Differentiated teaching and learning programmes are developed to meet the individual students needs
· Students have access to appropriate physical and technological aids/supports to enable them to fully access their learning programmes and general living needs
· Students who have a Vision Impairment are thoroughly assessed every 3 years by a specialist team which includes an optometrist, a functional vision assessor, an Orientation and Mobility Instructor and a multi-disciplinary team of therapists
· Students receive individual programmes. These are delivered either by the VRT or school staff who have been trained up to implement them