Photo from ICEVI-Europe event

European Newsletter - Issue 44

Volume 16 number 3, September 2010


4th ICEVI East-European Conference


From the Board

The Board members

In April the volcano prevented the board from having a meeting. At the last moment we had to decide to cancel the meeting, because it was impossible to come to St. Petersburg.
Recently the meeting could take place because the ICEVI World Conference in Thailand had to be cancelled.
The Board meeting took place 9 and 10 August 2010 in St. Petersburg.
As usual the activities in the several regions within ICEVI-Europe were discussed.
It was agreed that in the future the written reports will be published in the newsletter.
The agreement was made to present the annual report in another way, the sub regions will no longer publish a separate report.

The website, including the newsletter is available in other languages by using the Google programme. The webmaster will be asked to adjust the instruction on the website.
During the meeting a lot of attention was paid to the recommendations and the suggestions, which had been made in the regional meetings during The European ICEVI Conference in Dublin in 2009. Mainly the subjects were discussed on a European level.

In the next newsletter attention will be paid to people with a visual impairment practising a sport.
Also the theme of Inclusion will get a prominent place by means of a platform on the website.
The same goes for parents. We will try to get them connected on the website.

ICEVI-Europe will have further contact with EBU about cooperation, while also the European Disability Forum will be contacted. In both cases the main purpose is to find a way to cooperate in taking care of the interests of children and their parents and adults with a visual impairment within Europe.
Another important theme was labour.

Regularly you will find information about the above on the website and in the newsletter.

It was also decided to find out what the expectations are, of users of the website and readers of the newsletter.
The results of the questionnaire will help where necessary to make changes.
Therefore it is very important that you fill in the questionnaire and return it.

The Board members will each take further care of the subjects that are important in their sub region.
Soon a meeting of the contact persons of the German and Dutch speaking countries will take place.

The complexity of subjects, including the cooperation with Enviter and SensAge gave the Board a reason to further discuss the strategy of ICEVI-Europe for the future.
The Board has another meeting during the the EXCO meeting of ICEVI in London.
A regular meeting is planned in May 2011.

Hopefully we have all enjoyed a good summer and vacation period and have renewed energy.
I wish you all good luck with this.

For information I refer you to the website of ICEVI

On behalf of the Board of ICEVI-Europe,
Hans Welling, Chairman


International meeting of head teachers from schools for blind and visually impaired students in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands

Head teachers from schools for blind and visually impaired students from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands held their annual conference in Würzburg from May 2nd to 5th 2010. The meeting was dedicated to the theme "Inclusive education of blind and visually impaired students". In addition to each country taking a position on the theme "Inclusive Education", there was a panel discussion with the joint venture (consortium) of trade associations for special education concerning the issue: "How does the UN convention affect disability rights and especially Article 24 (education) on the upbringing and education of children and young people with special educational needs in school".

Currently the following progress is noted in the particular countries:

  1. Germany: The VBS and other schools for blind and visually impaired students in Germany welcomed the conference from the ministers of education and appreciated that with Article 24 there is a need for action, and that they want to aim for the implementation of an inclusive education system. It should be noted that the common teaching of disabled and nondisabled students in particular is the aim of public schools and not just of schools for the blind and visually impaired. By 2011 the school laws in the provinces have to be adapted to the demands of the UN convention. In the area of blind and visually impaired education, the VBS calls for a voting right for parents and concerned pupils. They should be free to decide if they want to attend the public school with appropriate professional assistance by advisory and support teachers or the special school for blind and visually impaired students. A change during their school career must also be possible.
  2. Austria: After Austria ratified the UN convention in 2009, each province is pushing the implementation forward. Along with this goes a reorganisation of teacher training.
  3. Switzerland: In Switzerland the UN convention on disability rights has not been ratified until now. Nevertheless the device for the schooling of blind and visually impaired children in Switzerland is: Integration before separation. About 70 - 90 percent are integrated in school at the focal support point of seeing. A slight alteration from inpatient to outpatient division is recognisable.
  4. Netherlands: The Netherlands divide students with special educational needs between regional centres of competence. The focus of their considerations is to identify the individual needs of each child and visually impaired person, regardless of their place of support. Children are either taught in the general school or in a special school.

To sum up:

  1. The majority of German- and Dutch-speaking ICEVI subregion countries signed the UN convention on disability rights, or they will ratify it.
  2. There is an agreement that an inclusive education is desirable.
  3. The discussion on inclusion is not primarily about a change in special education but about the further development of general education, towards an inclusive pedagogy.
  4. Professionalism must be ensured.
  5. Inclusion should not be understood as an instrument of policy to reduce costs.
  6. Extensive human and budgetary resources must be provided to meet the individual educational needs of blind and visually impaired children.
  7. Free choice of the place of support must be guaranteed.
  8. Increased education and training needs have to be provided for, and the training of qualified blind and visually impaired teachers.

July 2010
Dieter Feser


Scottish Education Award 2010

Mary Lee

The Board of ICEVI-Europe sincerely congratulates Mary Lee, Secretary of the Board, on winning the Scottish Education Lifetime Achievement Award 2010.

Now Mary Lee is one of the nominees for the Award across the UK.

During the last Board meeting the Board watched an impressive video film in which Mary successfully communicates with children with complex needs using an on-body, tactile signing system.

We wish Mary lots of success for the upcoming competition.

Hans Welling, Chairperson


Innovators who transformed the lives of profoundly disabled children

Published in Times Educational Supplement Scotland on 2 July, 2010
by Emma Seith

Over the next few weeks, we will feature the winners of this year’s Scottish Education Awards, beginning with a teacher honoured for her lifetime achievement. Emma Seith reports:

In 1983, when teacher Mary Lee joined the Royal Blind School in Edinburgh, pupils with multiple disabilities and a visual impairment had no means to communicate beyond simple body language.

They could not get their thoughts, feelings, needs and wants across verbally, and they could not see to sign.

It was a source of considerable frustration for both the children and Mrs Lee, which is why she and a colleague, Lindi MacWilliam, developed Canaan Barrie “on body” signs. Now the language is used in countries all over the world.

It was this achievement and her reputation as an "exceptional educator" that led to Mrs Lee receiving this year’s lifetime achievement prize at the Scottish Education Awards in Glasgow.

Canaan Barrie signs involve touching - on the body or hands - or movements close to the child.

The key to developing the signs was to "put yourself in the place of the child", said Mrs Lee, now a principal teacher at the school.

"The success of our methods is down to really trying to see the world from the children’s point of view, not from our own, as sighted individuals."

Since the language was developed 25 years ago, the impact on the children has been considerable.

"They have developed to a more advanced stage of communication because we have given them the means to communicate."

The details of the Canaan Barrie system are contained in the book Learning Together, which Mrs Lee wrote with Lindi MacWilliam.

The book has been translated into Czech, French and Dutch and, according to Julie Shylan, principal of the Royal Blind School, Canaan Barrie is becoming an accepted communications method not only in the UK, but across Europe and beyond.

Mrs Lee started out in education as a classroom assistant, working in a Rudolf Steiner school. She then applied to Redland College in Bristol to become a primary teacher.

"They asked: 'Do you realise we are just starting a new course that takes you straight into special education?' - so I was interviewed for that. Special education appealed to me because it was about truly working with individuals and picking up what their needs were.

Upon her return to Edinburgh, Mrs Lee, who was born in the city, worked as a movement therapist at Gogarburn Hospital.

"Again I was working with people with severe learning difficulties, developing their communication."

In 1983, after time out from her career to have a family, she joined the Royal Blind School.

"There was no curriculum at that time for children with multiple disabilities and visual impairment, so it was a very creative process, of us observing and interacting with the children and then discussing what we were finding as professionals."

Today the job remains creative, she says.

"Because the children are so individual, it is still a case of working out what is best for the individual child - but we now have a huge body of knowledge behind us."

Mrs Lee has done her bit to share that knowledge with teachers of the deaf, blind and sensory-impaired in the developing world. Between 1999 and 2007 she spent two weeks each year in East Africa, through Swedish charity SHIA, sharing knowledge and experiences with families and teachers.

She has also served as the English-speaking nations’ representative on the European regional committee of the International Council for the Education of the Visually Impaired since 2005.

Back in Edinburgh, Mrs Lee continues to work in the classroom, and leads the Royal Blind School’s weekly playgroup, where parents and carers get a chance to work with her and their infant in a supportive, small-group atmosphere, building the critical foundations for communication and development.

The Royal Blind School’s principal, Julie Shylan, says: "Mary Lee is indeed an exceptional educator of whom we in Scotland can be very proud."

The Scottish Education Award judges concurred. They said they were "impressed by the respect, gratitude and love for Mary expressed by parents and her colleagues."

Having won the lifetime achievement award, Mrs Lee says she feels there is an expectation she will bow out of education. The 58-year-old, however, has no such plans.

"I’m hoping to carry on for some time yet", she says. "I enjoy working with my colleagues; I’d hate to give that up."


MEPs vote strengthens the rights of disabled passengers

European Blind Union
Press release
Paris, 9 July 2010

On 6 July, the European Parliament overwhelmingly voted to improve the rights of 65 million disabled people across the European Union when using buses and coaches. Provisions adopted in the ‘Rights of Passengers in Bus and Coach Transport Regulation’ include mandatory training for transport staff, such as bus drivers, a right to assistance and a right to information in formats that disabled people can access, such as large print and braille.

Lord Colin Low, President of the European Blind Union (EBU), says: "EBU welcomes the very strong message that the European Parliament has given to EU Governments, supporting the rights of blind and partially sighted people to use bus and coach transport independently. Mandatory training for transport staff, including bus drivers, a right to assistance and a right to information in alternative formats, such as large print and braille, provide a minimum standard of service, which blind and partially sighted people should be able to expect on all bus and coach travel within the EU."

Despite the ratification of the United Nations Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities last year, disabled people continue to experience unacceptable discrimination in access to transport.

Importantly, the provisions MEPs have voted in favour of include local services, and, as most journeys are local, equal access to these bus and coach services is a key element of leading an independent life for many disabled people.

However, the Council (comprising the EU 27 governments) is currently opposed to the text adopted by MEPs in the European Parliament, so now a conciliation procedure will start between the two institutions.

Lord Low says: "We hope Governments of the Member States will take on board the important and unequivocal message that this vote sends and revise their position in favour of the rights of disabled people."

Notes to editors

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was ratified by the UK and the EU in 2009. Article 9, on accessibility, stipulates that States Parties should enable persons with disabilities to live independently and that they 'shall take appropriate measures to ensure access, on an equal basis with others, (...) to transport (...) and to other facilities and services open and provided to the public both in urban and rural areas.'

About the European Blind Union

The European Blind Union is a non-governmental, non profit making European organisation founded in 1984. It is one of the six regional bodies of the World Blind Union. It protects and promotes the interests of blind and partially sighted people in Europe. It currently operates within a network of national organisations of the visually impaired in 45 European countries.

European Blind Union
Tel: +33 1 47 05 38 20
Fax: +33 1 47 05 38 21
58 avenue Bosquet
75007 PARIS (France)


European Master Programme 2011

This subject has been mentioned several times before in the newsletter.
To refresh your memory, please see the following:
For many years now, concerns have been raised about proper professional training for people involved in the education and rehabilitation of people with visual impairment.
A few years ago ICEVI-Europe took the initiative to set up an international working group, in which representatives took part from universities from several countries, Portugal, the Netherlands, Denmark, Hungary and Slovenia.
With the support of the EU programme the working group had several meetings and prepared a conference for students from these countries. However the initiative turned out to be a bridge too far and thus the subsidy from Europe was stopped and the initiative ended in deadlock.

Fortunately, the University of Groningen in the Netherlands has declared itself to be willing to start an International Masters Programme. The University already has a Masters programme for communication and congenital Deaf-Blindness.

Preparations are underway and the intention is to start with the European Masters in September 2011 - so very soon.

In the next newsletter and on the website we will keep you informed.

Hans Welling


Football for the Blind

Football 5-a-side, well known as Football for the Blind or Blind Football, is a very popular sport among blind athletes and athletes with severe visual impairments.

Every football match is played by two teams of 10 players. Four blind players and a goalkeeper with reduced or normal vision are in pitch and five are substitutes. The duration of a Blind Football match is 50 minutes divided into two halves of 25 minutes each, with a ten minute break between them. The team which scores the most goals is designated as the winning team.

Blind Football is conducted in accordance with the regulations of the International Football Federation (FIFA) and the Football Committee of the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA). Both FIFA and IBSA together are responsible for the development of the sport.

The development of Blind Football has been rapid worldwide. The first National Championships were held in Spain in 1986. Since then, the sport is growing in many countries. A milestone for the development of Blind Football was the Paralympic Games in Athens, where this sport was included for the first time in the official programme of the Games.

In Blind Football athletes can participate in the following categories:

Athletes with normal vision can participate only as goalkeepers. In this case the goalkeeper must have been registered at least in the past five years with the Federation of Football 5-a-side (Futsal) or Football Federation (FIFA). There is also a guide behind the opponent’s goal to direct the players when they shoot.

The pitch consists of a rectangle covered with natural or synthetic grass. The length of the pitch can be between 38 and 42 metres and width of between 18 and 22 metres.
The pitch is delimited by the lateral lines (touch lines), the finish lines and end lines (goal lines). At the lateral lines, a protective screen is placed at 2 metres height so that blind players can understand the side boundaries of the pitch. In the center of the pitch there is the kick-off mark with a circle 6 metres in diameter. The half-way line is separating the pitch into two equal parts. The end line has a length of 3 metres and a height of 2 metres, while the goalkeeper’s area around the outbreak, measures 5X2 metres. At a distance of 6 metres from the centre of the finish is a white circular seal, where is the penalty mark. The mark of the double penalty is on 8 metres.

The ball for Blind Football is made of leather or synthetic material with a specific region of 62 cm and weighs 490-520 grams. There is an internal sound mechanism in the ball which can be perceived by the athletes.

During the game, all players, except the goalkeeper, wear a mask covering their eyes in order to ensure equality between athletes with varying degrees of vision loss. If a player touches his mask, he is charged with violation (foul). If a player collects five personal fouls he is excluded from the game and replaced by another player. If the goalkeeper goes out of his area, then his team is charged with a violation.

Finally, if a player tries to kick or push an opponent player using hands or feet or fails to say clearly and audibly the word “voy” or “go” or any other similar word, when seeking, tackling or searching for the ball, then he is charged with accumulated and personal fouls and the opposing team is entitled to enforce a direct free kick. In carrying out a direct free kick, the defensive team has the right to form a defensive wall. If a team is charged up to three accumulative fouls per half, the direct free kick has to be taken from the second penalty mark 8 metres distance from the goal line without the formation of a defensive wall. The players can also receive a yellow or red card (sent-off) in proportion to the violation they are guilty of, like normal football.

Finally, the game is controlled by two referees who are required to apply the rules of the game.

Edited by: Alexandros Karaiosif
IBSA Football 5-a-side Level 2 Referee


Conference Multimodal learning processes – Understanding the world through eyes, ears, and touch (SWEDEN)

The conference Multimodal learning processes – Understanding the world through eyes, ears, and touch was held the 21–22 April, 2010, organised by Information Design, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering at Mälardalen University in Eskilstuna, and the Swedish Braille Authority.

The conference emphasised multimodal learning processes in general, with the focus in particular on those involving blind persons. The conference aimed at bringing research from various fields together, to build networks for further research in relation to blindness, and to stimulate practitioners, such as teachers, to deepen their knowledge. The hope was to encourage a great deal of academic and professional matchmaking.

Speakers at the conference were:


A Breakthrough Braille Labelling Law in Portugal

Law Number 33/2008 was published in the Portuguese Official Journal of the 22nd July 2008. It establishes compulsory braille labelling on products acquired by visually impaired consumers in supermarkets or hypermarkets. This law, resulting from an initiative of the Portuguese national parliament, makes it easier for visually impaired consumers to go shopping and identify goods.

After the approval of Law 33/2008, from the 22nd January 2010 it became compulsory for supermarket and hypermarket chains with more than 5 stores, each of more than 300 square meters, to provide visually impaired persons with personal assistance and braille labelling printing services.

Consequently, every visually impaired person may, from now on, when they go shopping in supermarkets or hypermarkets, ask for personal assistance from staff. They will orientate them inside the store, helping them to find the required products and reading the information available on the products. They may also have the acquired products braille labelled, which in practice will mean a label identifying the type and brand of the product, expiry date and other characteristics such as specific information or eventual dangers, and the visually impaired consumer has the choice to ask for the inclusion of any additional information needed.

To those who prefer on-line shopping, the braille labelling service is also compulsory, and those interested only have to ask for it when they order. For more information, please refer to ACAPO’s website or phone +351 21 324 4500.

Published in WBU E-Bulletin, July 2010

For information


4th ICEVI East-European Conference


13-15th October 2010
Conference is devoted to the 80th anniversary from the date of a birth of Valentina A. Feoktistov

Organised by
Under the support of
within the limits of
the project “XXI century – All Over the Open Century”

The basic directions of work of conference:

The program of conference will include scientific reports, the master-classes in special educational establishments, carrying out of sessions of "round tables", exhibitions of works of blind artists, sculptors.

Format of conference:

October, 13th (Wednesday)
10.00-10.30 - Registration of participants of conference
10.30 - 14.30 - Plenary session
14.30 - 15.30 - Lunch
15.30-17.30 - the Round table "you in our affairs and hearts..." (On pages of the biography of V.A.Feoktistova)
October, 14th (Thursday)
10.00-14.00 - master-classes
15.30-16.30 - Summary
16.30-17.30 - Delivery of Certificates
October, 15th (Friday)
10.00-14.00- "the World on tips of fingers" Hermitage

Conditions of participation in conference

For registration as the participant of conference it is necessary: to fill the questionnaire of the participant, to prepare materials of research and to send it by e-mail; not later September, 10th, 2010

Variants of participation in conference:
  1. Internal participation: the report and the publication
  2. Correspondence participation: the publication without the report
  3. Participation in conference without the report and publications

The materials presented to specified term, will be published to the beginning of conference. Cost of the publication with an organizational payment: 400 rubles (10 Euro).
All travelling and living expenses due to the directing party.

Coordinators of conference:

Vitkovskaja Alexander Mihajlovna, the pro-rector on study
tel.: +7 812 596-23-01

Rostomashvili Lyudmila Nikolaevna, the dean of faculty AFK
tel.: +7 812 596-24-40


Invitational Conference 2011

Royal Visio

ICEVI Europe wants to broaden its scope and include activities that are concerned with older people with visual impairment. At the last European Conference (Dublin, 2009) there were just a few presentations concerning this age group. Therefore ICEVI Europe is looking for ways to create a much more substantial contribution related to this age group at the next European Conference in Istanbul in 2013.

In order to prepare this part of the conference it has been suggested that we organise an invitational conference with relevant European key persons in 2011. Royal Visio is willing to host this conference.

The aims of such an invitational conference could be:

For further information:

Peter Verstraten, Royal Visio

Hans Welling, Chairperson ICEVI-Europe


Letter of Christakis Nicolaides, President (Pancyprian Organization of the Blind)

Dear Mr Hans Welling, chairperson of ICEVI-Europe
The Pancyprian Organisation of the Blind has a strong interest in organising and hosting a European sport conference in Cyprus before the end of this year.

A few of the subjects which could be included on the agenda of the conference would be as follows:

  1. Impact of educational integration on the development of sports for blind children
  2. Recruiting and training procedures for blind and partially sighted young athletes
  3. Appointment of guides for sports teams consisting of blind and partially sighted athletes, and
  4. Incentives and awards for blind and partially sighted athletes.

With this e-mail I kindly ask you to consider the possibility of organising the above international conference in Cyprus in collaboration with ICEVI Europe and IBSA Europe.

I remain at your disposal for any further clarifications.

Christakis Nicolaides, President
Pancyprian Organization of the Blind



14-15-16 Octobre 2010 CME La pépinière Allée André Glatigny, rue Paul Doumer 59120 LOOS

Groupement des Professeurset Educateurs d'Aveugles et d'Amblyopes
Tél: 04 70 44 09 14
Fax: 04 70 44 93 90

Marie-Luce GARAPON
IJA Les Charmettes
21 Route de Bourgogne
03400 YZEURE

Jean-Pierre Le Fèvre
40 Kergolot
22290 Pléguien
Tél: 06 70 13 76 22

Bulletin Pédagogique:
Claude Griet
37 Rue Montplaisir
31400 Toulouse
Tél: 05 61 14 82 22
Fax: 05 61 55 35 93

Le GPEAA est une section
du GIAA (Groupement des Intellectuels Aveugles ou Amblyopes)
5 Av Daniel Lesueur
75007 PARIS-France

Association loi 1901
Reconnue d’utilité publique
Numéro Inscription Formation
Permanente: 11 75 089 3075

Troubles envahissants du développement, fonctionnement autistique et déficience visuelle.
Frais d’inscription: adhérents: 120 euros, non adhérents: 150 euros
Inscription au plan de formation: GIAA – 11 75 089 3075
Le GPEAA est une section du GIAA PARIS

GPEAA est signataire de la convention de Madrid


13H30Ouverture du secrétariat
14HAccueil: Edith Cusnieux, Directrice du CME La pépinière
14H15 Discours d’ouverture: Marie-Luce Garapon, Présidente du GPEAA
Chef de service pédagogique, coordonnatrice du S3AIS de l’Allier
Présidente de séance: Pierre Gallix, Président de l’ANPEA
14H45Autisme, T.E.D, traits autistiques
Point sur les connaissances, distinction entre ces notions, évolution des classifications
Olivier Masson, Directeur du Centre de Ressources Autisme Pas de Calais
Echanges avec la salle
15H45 La question du diagnostic et en quoi un déficit sensoriel peut venir le «compromettre»
Docteur Anne-Yvonne Lenfant, Médecin pédopsychiatre CHRU de Lille - Centre de Ressources Autisme Pas de Calais
Echanges avec la salle
17HTraits autistiques et déficience visuelle
Danielle Reviriego, Psychologue, clinicienne, psychothérapeute Bordeaux
Echanges avec la salle

Pratiques adaptées à des besoins spécifiques

Présidente de séance: Françoise Magna
Inspectrice pédagogique et technique au ministère de la cohésion sociale

9H00Autisme particulier, mon œil!
Catherine Pomarède, Enseignante spécialisée CDDS Rodez
Echanges avec la salle
10H00Pause, visite des exposants
10H30Ateliers autour de pôles d’activités
Animateur: Jean-Claude Senocq
Modérateur: Annie Lamant, professeur spécialisée
Activités équestres:
Animateur: Jean-Pierre Paresys
Modérateur: Catherine Thibault, éducatrice spécialisée
Stimulation visuelle:
Animateur: Laurence Bruchet
Modérateur: Claude Schepens, psychologue spécialisé, président honoraire de l’ALPHV
Stimulation sensorielle non visuelle:
Animateur: Catherine Coppin
Modérateur: Catherine Pomarède, professeur spécialisée
Salle «Argos»:
Animateur: Thomas Masson Alice Facon
Modérateur: Michèle Collat, professeur honoraire INS HEA
14H00Présidente de séance: Agnès Guibora
Présidente de l’ALFPHV, psychologue CEDV Nancy
Mise en commun des ateliers
15HProjection du film:
15H45De l’observation-bilan au programme d’activités adaptées
Catherine Coppin, Conseillère technique au Centre National de Ressources pour le Handicap Rare
Echanges avec la salle
16H15Le travail en équipe pluridisciplinaire
Professionnels de la salle Argos parent d’élève


Traits autistiques, déficience visuelle et scolarisation

Président de séance: Eric Guillet
Inspecteur de l’Education Nationale – Adaptation Scolarisation Handicap Lille

9HEn quoi un dysfonctionnement visuel peut prédisposer à des troubles autistiques
Docteur Bertrand Delépine, Médecin ophtalmologique Lille
Echanges avec la salle
9H30Le bébé déficient visuel et le risque autistique
Maryse Venant, Educatrice spécialisée Camsp Lille
9H30Réflexion autour de la présentation d’un outil d’évaluation de la manière dont l’enfant avec autisme appréhende les apprentissages
Catherine Leroy, Collaboratrice du CRA
Echanges avec la salle
10H45Situations d’enfants scolarisés
Catherine Plank, professeur des écoles spécialisée
Catherine Pomarède, professeur spécialisée
Echanges avec la salle
11H45Conclusion et synthèse des travaux
Marie-Luce Garapon présidente du GPEAA, chef de service pédagogique à l’IJA les Charmettes à Yzeure, coordonnatrice S3AIS de l’Allier

Conference: Children who have visual impairment and autism

Furthering understanding of research and practice
Thursday 18 and Friday 19 November 2010
Marble Arch Thistle Hotel, London

The combination of visual impairment and autism in children is rare, but has a very high impact. With presentations from key workers in the field, this conference will raise your awareness of the issues and provide you with information and ideas which will increase your knowledge and enhance your practice.

Learning objectives

Attending this conference will enable you to:

  1. Learn about some of the most recent research into visual impairment and autism.
  2. Extend your knowledge of the diagnosis and nature of autism in children and young people who are blind or partially sighted and the links between visual impairment and autism.
  3. Learn about the different approaches used in educational settings with children and young people with visual impairment and autism.

Day One
Chair: Dr Linda Pring, Professor of Psychology, Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Key note presentations

Reversible autism among congenitally blind children?
An eight-year follow-up study. Dr Peter Hobson, Professor of Developmental Psychopathology, University College London Institute of Child Health/Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust

Diagnosing autism in visually impaired children at the Developmental Vision Clinic. Dr Alison Salt, Consultant Developmental Paediatrician, Neurodisability Services, University College London Institute of Child Health/Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust

Diagnosing autism in visually impaired children in the community.
Dr Hazel Curtis, Consultant Community Paediatrician, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, and Heather Macleod, formerly Speech and Language Therapist, West of England School and College for Children and Young People with Little or No Sight, Exeter

Developmental setback in visually impaired infants and early screening for social communication difficulties in young children with visual impairment.
Dr Naomi Dale, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Head of Psychology, Neurodisability Services, University College London Institute of Child Health/Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust

Social communication in visually impaired children.
Dr Valerie Tadić, Post-doctoral research fellow, Centre for Paediatric Epidemiology, Institute of Child Health at University College London

The efficacy of strategies/approaches employed with sighted autistic children.
Dr Patricia Howlin, Professor of Clinical Child Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, London

Day Two
Chair: Judy Bell, Co-ordinator, Visual Impairment and Autism Project

The Visual Impairment and Autism Project
Members of the Project Team will describe the project, focusing on the findings and will introduce the Project Resource Pack.


Delegates will have the opportunity to attend workshops on three of six topics:

Choice 1

Either 1a) Autism in sighted children and in those who have visual impairment. Project Team

Or 1b) Structured teaching for pupils who have visual impairment and autism.
Kim Taylor, MSI teacher, Greenfields School, Northampton, and David Preece, Team Manager, Services for Children with Autism, Northamptonshire Children and Families Service

Choice 2

Either 2a) Relationship Development Intervention.
Dr Peter Hobson, Professor of Developmental Psychopathology and Dr Jessica Hobson, Senior Research Fellow, Behavioural and Brain Sciences, University College London Institute of Child Health

Or 2b) The structured use of trampolining with pupils who have VI and autism.
Russell Walker, Senmove, former Head of PE at Linden Lodge School, Wandsworth, London

Choice 3

Either 3a) Meeting the sensory needs of pupils who have visual impairment and autism.
Gail Deuce, Consultant Teacher, Family, Education and Advisory Service, Sense

Or 3b) Music for pupils who have visual impairment and autism.
Dr Adam Ockelford, Professor of Music, University of Roehampton


Poster topics will include:


Exhibitors will include the partner organisations in the Project.

Project Team

Who should attend?

This major event will be of interest to those working with blind and partially sighted young people who have autism and the parents of these children. It will be of relevance to a wide range of practitioners, including teachers, teaching assistants, therapists, psychologists, mobility officers, care workers and doctors. It will also be of interest to those carrying out research in visual impairment and in autism and in the relationship between them.


For professionals: £150 per day or £270 for the 2 days
For parents: £100 per day or £180 for the 2 days

These fees cover the cost of attendance, including lunch and other refreshments, but do not include accommodation. Delegates will need to arrange their own accommodation and pay for it separately.

Booking details

To book your place, please return your booking form to:

Sona Molnarova
Children and Young People Training
58–72 John Bright Street
B1 1BN
Telephone: 0121 665 4235
Fax: 0121 665 4201

Book your place now to avoid disappointment. Invoices will be sent on receipt of application.

© RNIB May 2010
Registered charity number 226227



The contribution for individual members from Balkan Countries and East European Countries is Euro 10 per year, Euro 40 for 4 years


Upcoming events

10-11 September 2010
PROVISION - 1st INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE. Technical University of Dortmund (Germany)
Title: Visual problems in children with brain damage - what is new?
Read more about Provision 2010.
29 September - 3 October 2010
8th Conference of the Acquired Deafblindness Network, Aalborg (Denmark)
6-9 October 2010
European Association for Vision and Eye Research (EVER) 2010 Annual Conference, Hersonissos, Crete (Greece)
13-15 October 2010
International scientifically-practical conference "Development of the Science and Practice of Education for Visually Impairment People: Problems and Prospects", St. Petersburg (Russia)
read more about: VI conference in St. Petersburg.
20-24 October 2010
5th ICEVI BALKAN conference: "New Competencies for Future Chalenges in Europe". Zagreb, Croatia
Early registration: 15.04.2010
Deadline for submitting the abstracts: 01.05.2010
22-24 October 2010
First European Congress on Visual Impairment / III ASPREH Congress, Valladolid (Spain)
18-19 November 2010
Children who have visual impairment and autism: Furthering understanding of research and practice. Marble Arch Thistle Hotel, London (UK)
Read more about VI and autism conference
15-17 December 2010
2nd International Symposium on Low Vision Rehabilitation and Visual Ability, Rome (Italy) Symposium Logo
Organizer: International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness-IAPB Italy
website: or,
First Announcement (PDF) - Low Vision Symposium
18-22 May 2011
Teacher Training Conference: Visual Profile - the application and adaptation of the ICF in rehabilitation and education of people with visually impairment. Graz (Austria)
Preparations are made in cooperation with the Odilien Institut and takes place at Schloss St Martin.
First Annoumcement - next TT Conference

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