Royal Blind Hosts Comenius Step Up Project Meeting

Posted: 28/06/2013 |

Comenius: STEP UP!

This month Royal Blind was proud to host the Comenius Step Up project focusing upon children and young people, with a severe visual impairment, addressing the essential core skills concerning proficiency in orientation and mobility by encouraging Safe travel and movement Through the Environment for young learners with visual impairment, Promoted by all! Understanding and Participation (STEP UP!).

This is an update of the work that we completed at the STEP UP project meeting.

The group started bright and early on the first day and we divided into two groups to work on the questionnaire booklet and literary review.  We have developed good working relationships during our time together, so the work progressed at a good pace.  The group has chosen a selection of publications which we feel are important and relevant to be included in the literary review.  During the meetings we wrote a review for each publication and highlighted why we thought it was relevant for inclusion.   Work also continued to develop the questionnaire booklet.  The information that was sourced from the questionnaire was arranged into an accessible format.  There were several stages to this and at one point it involved lots of cutting and pasting using old fashioned glue instead of the more recognised computer format.

The group talked about the content for the glossary.  Language plays a major part and we decided that the glossary should have themed sections and also be alphabetical so that it will be more accessible.  After all the hard work on our first day, there was an opportunity to experience some traditional Scottish cuisine at a restaurant in the evening.  This was a great chance for cultural exchanges and for our guests to see if they had the stomach for haggis.  This was a good end to the first day and was also a great opportunity to discuss and compare cultures in a relaxed environment.

We started the second day with our Swedish colleagues informing us that it was their national holiday.  We were given information about their day and Swedish flags to commemorate the occasion whilst they sang their National Anthem. Work started on the environmental audit and we trialled a template that had been developed to ascertain how accessible it is. We looked at different areas of the school and commented on the functionality of the template.  The results were collated and the feedback will be used to develop and amend the template.  We took a break mid-morning as we had been invited to the Garden Café Coffee Shop which is an enterprise venture run by pupils at the school.  The group introduced themselves in their own language and this was a great opportunity for our pupils to learn about our European Partners and expand their knowledge of Europe.  After our break we discussed the ten commonly held myths about visual impairment that we have selected and our Finnish partners brought examples of an Illustrators work that we are going to use to illustrate our myth busting leaflet.

On the last day we allocated tasks and responsibilities for the next project meeting. This included updating the website and promotional posters and the project newsletter.  The group were then given tours of the Craigmillar Park and Canaan Lane Campus.  This was a great opportunity for everyone to see the facilities that the Royal Blind School has to offer.  The day coincided with a picnic that was organised for Friends and Family day and this was a great way to end our three day project meeting.

More information can be found on the updated STEP UP website www.step-up-comenius.eu

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