Launch of Royal Blind School’s ‘Let Me Play’ DVD

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Press Release | 28/05/2014

How does a parent play with a small child who is blind or partially sighted in a way that best helps their child to make sense of their world and actively engage with those in it?

 

A specially commissioned DVD to support parents of children aged five and under is being launched today to provide some answers.

 

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

 

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. 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?’

 

“Parents require support and advice on how to engage more effectively with babies and infants, to stimulate and nurture them through positive play techniques. Our new DVD demonstrates scenarios which encourage better posture, movement and exploration of space, often significant challenges to very young blind and partially sighted children. 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.”

 

Elaine Brackenridge, head teacher at the Royal Blind School, said:

“Engaging children in communication is at the heart of child development. ‘Let Me Play’ provides examples of children with visual impairment at varying stages of child development engaged in play activities that will enhance their visual tracking, communication, and their gross and fine motor skills. We are delighted to offer this DVD as a free resource and would welcome feedback from those who use it.”

 

Janis Sugden, co-ordinator of the Scottish Sensory Centre, said: “This project has been a great opportunity to work with our partners to create a highly useful resource. 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.”

 

The DVD is being launched at today’s meeting of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Visual Impairment. It will then be promoted among

specialist teachers across Scotland, who will be encouraged to use it as a training tool to strengthen the quality of 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. It can be accessed electronically by anyone who wishes to view it through the Scottish Sensory Centre, Royal Blind and RNIB Scotland websites.

 

The DVD, which was filmed in family homes and at a nursery, includes narration, audio description, sign-language and alternative languages.

 

For further information, please contact Ian Brown at RNIB Scotland on 0131 652 3164 or 07918 053 952.


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