Welcome to Positive Eye, the UK’s leading independent training and resource provider for children and young people with visual impairment.

Positive Eye delivers practical, resource rich courses and training to practitioners across the UK and Europe on how to meet the educational needs of children and young people with visual impairment.

 NEW VENUE FOR LOVE LITERACY CONFERENCE 2016 

Why have training from Positive Eye?

Positive Eye has evolved to become a highly respected, national and international training provider.  Regular clients, energised and enthused by Gwyn the Director, often look further to Positive Eye for more training because it does what it says on the tin – it is delivered by a practitioner with 20 years experience, in a practical, creative, hands on, interactive style and teaches the professional how to support children with VI in the classroom

Read more on the about page

Positive talk about Positive Eye

 

Practitioners recently attending ‘Teaching Braille to Children with Visual Impairments’ commented

‘Fantastic day and very inspiring’

‘Brilliant as ever’

‘Fantastic really enjoyable’

‘Excellent as ever, thank you for the inspiration!’

‘Lovely ideas to use with a child in my class. Great ways to engage child in learning’

‘Very enthusiastic and knowledgeable’

‘I thought the course was fantastic the course has been so refreshing, has given me so many ideas and has given me enthusiasm for short term and long term support that can be given to help build a child’s skills, most importantly whilst having fun.’

 

www.positiveeye.co.uk/courses-to-classroom

Positive Looking 2 available soon to purchase

 

Positive Looking 2

Available to purchase soon

Positive Looking 2 considers skill areas of visual perception in the context of visual functioning in a holistic, everyday setting. The framework provides goals and activities to enable a child to develop positive compensatory strategies to overcome any difficulties associated in the area of visual perception.

  • Visual Discrimination (including 2D and 3D objects/shapes/representations, perspective, photographs, black & white, colour, symmetry, pattern, facial expressions)
  • Figure Ground perception/discrimination
  • Visual Closure and recognising critical/key features
  • Visual Motor integration including hand-eye coordination and scanning, eye teaming,
  • Visual Memory or recall, and recall of left to right sequencing
  • Mobility, movement and Spatial awareness– understanding of gesture, posture, inter-social behaviours, position in relation to other visual elements, the understanding of conversions of 3D to 2D representations, the understanding of changes relative to oneself as they change in relative size and orientation

Includes;

Goals, activities and ideas, observation points, session plans, overview of skill areas, measuring progress graphs

 

Keynote Speakers and Speakers

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About our Keynote Speakers

Anne Lomas

We warmly welcome Anne, a leading and experienced practitioner in the field of visual impairment, Anne will open the ‘Love Literacy Conference’ with her keynote speech

‘A lifelong love of literacy’

Anne has worked in the field of vision impairment since 1983, covering all aspects of the work from 0-19, and as a peripatetic teacher of VI, Deputy Head, and Head of the VI Team in Leeds.  In 2010, she moved to Bradford as Head of the newly formed VI Service, and in September 2014, became Head of the new Sensory Service, incorporating services for children and young people with hearing and vision impairment. She has been a lead in the Yorks and Humber regional group for Heads of VI Services, and has been actively involved in successful group initiatives such as the VI Quality Mark for Services, and Quality Standards for Resource bases.

Dr. Steve McCall

We are honoured to welcome Dr.McCall who will deliver the second keynote speech to open day two of the ‘Love Literacy Conference.’

Dr. McCall is an honorary Senior Lecturer at the School of Education at the University of Birmingham where he worked until his retirement in 2011.

Since his retirement he has been working as a part time consultant for Sightsavers and the RNIB and has been involved in training teachers of the visually impaired in Morocco and Sierra Leone. He is a tutor on the RNIB online training course for QTVIs on teaching literacy through braille. He received a lifetime achievement award from the RNIB in 2015.

Charlotte Cushman

We are thrilled and delighted to welcome Charlotte Cushman from the USA to our Love Literacy Conference who will deliver

A Viewpoint from America

Collaboration: Bringing Literacy to Life through a Team Approach

Charlotte Cushman has been in the field of visual impairment for more than 30 years.  She taught at Perkins School for the Blind for many years, and has worked as an education consultant for children who are deafblind.   Charlotte has also worked extensively overseas, training teachers and developing curriculum for children with visual impairments and additional disabilities in Asia and Africa.  She currently develops online resources to support teachers, parents and others interested in the education of children with visual impairments.

Charlotte Mellor and Karen Newell

We welcome both parents and professionals to the ‘Love Literacy Conference.’ We are excited to welcome two fantastic parents, Charlotte and Karen who will present

A Viewpoint from Parents

Can you read with your nose?

Charlotte Mellor – Through Scarlett’s Eyes

Charlotte Mellor is an employee of the charity VICTA. Her role within the organisation is to run the parents’ online support and information sharing network www.throughscarlettseyes.com. The website was inspired by Charlotte’s daughter Scarlett, who was born blind. The website is a fully inclusive platform for all to use to publish information. It is targeted at parents to help them connect with other families by sharing their experiences and knowledge.

Karen Newell

Karen has spent the last twenty years working across the public, private and charitable sectors. Her roles have ranged from Children’s Development, Play Manager and Programme Director for the Children’s Rights Commissioner Office for London. She is  currently knee deep in toy magazines, updating the RNIB’s Toy and Play guide.Previous to this she headed up a children’s research and development project for Children’s Television maker Ragdoll, eh oh Teletubbies! .Although all in different sectors they all have one unifying similarity; to ensure children’s voices are heard, they are included and their rights respected.I am currently working as a consultant whilst caring for my two young children ,Fred and Eva. Fred is severely visually impaired and fearless!

 

 

LoveLiteracy Workshops Day 2

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There are four workshops running each day. You have the opportunity to attend two from the options below. (These workshops are only available on day two)

 

Workshop E. (Day 2)

Reading pictures – another route to literacy

Literacy is about understanding and communicating information. In the modern world most information is provided through text, which disadvantages children and young people with a visual impairment, and those with additional disabilities, who find reading and writing difficult or indeed impossible. But our world is also full of images, signs and symbols, and helping those same children and young people to interpret these increases accessibility and promotes independence. This session will explore the use of images as a learning tool in the classroom and ways of helping visually impaired children and young people to ‘read’ the world at large.

Presenter: Sue Cook 

Sue is a Qualified Teacher of Visual Impairments (QTVI.) She has worked in education for over thirty years, in mainstream, as a QTVI, and then as manager of a sensory inclusion service. For over ten years she has been a tutor for the Birmingham University QTVI course, and in May 2013 she started her own specialist consultancy, Visible Outcomes. Sue has a thorough knowledge of current legislation and guidance relevant to sensory impairment, other disability issues and education in general. She takes a practical, flexible approach to developing methods of achieving realistic outcomes, in learning and independence, for all children and young people, regardless of disability.

Workshop F. (Day 2)

‘What’s in your bag today Miss?’

Join me for this workshop, based on ideas that have worked for me, and of course, for my students, in the classroom.

Share resources, ideas and experiences, all of which I hope will help you to encourage your very individual learners develop into readers and writers.

The session will be largely practical. You will have the opportunity not only to take part in Literacy activities and games, but also to work with fellow delegates to develop a new resource which will be made available to you after the conference.

Presenter:  Sylvia Webster

Sylvia is a Qualified Teacher of Visual Impairments (QTVI.) She has many years experience in teaching, firstly as a KS1 teacher, then qualifying as a QTVI in 1993. She has had various roles, including running a Resource Base, and doing Outreach work with children, young people and families. She has worked across all Key Stages, and in all educational settings.

Workshop G. (Day 2)

‘Re-learning Literacy – Late to Braille? You can still love it!’

Case studies will be used to explore the challenges and practicalities of working with children who learn Braille after or alongside being print-users.

In this workshop Michelle and Alison will share their experiences of working with students who are late to Braille. Practical tasks and discussion activities will aim to explore the challenges and opportunities offered by Braille for children who are already literate or who use multi-modal resources to access the curriculum. By highlighting issues such as re-learning spelling, developing additional specialist skills and embedding Braille Literacy into classroom practice, we will share some of the strategies that have proved successful for us in both Primary and Secondary Schools.

Presenters: Alison Blackman and Michelle Ireson

Alison Blackman

Alison is a Qualified Teacher of Visual Impairments and has worked for the Virtual School for Sensory Support in Norfolk since September 2012.  Alison went to a school for children with a visual impairment and since then it was always her ambition to become a QTVI.  She enjoys organising training and awareness sessions for staff who support children with visual impairment as she feels it is vital that people understand the implications of having a visual impairment.

Michelle Ireson 

Michelle is a Qualified Teacher of Visual Impairments. She has been involved with supporting children and young people with sensory impairments since the 1990s. Following a successful decade in mainstream Primary teaching she has spent the last few years working across Suffolk and Norfolk as a specialist teacher for children with VI. She has developed a real passion for promoting Braille skills and developing Braille Literacy.

Workshop H (Day 2)

‘Supporting a love for literacy’

Based on her experience as parent to Liam who is deafblind, Sandra will discuss strategies to provide access to literacy in the home and school environment and how to create materials that are accessible.  She will offer suggestions for motivating young readers to explore literacy materials and will share hands-on examples for participants to explore.  This session will provide practical tips for parents, early childhood specialists and educators/TVI’s.

Presenter: Sandy Kenrick

Sandra is from the USA. She is a mother of two boys. Her oldest, age 6, is Deaf-Blind. His first language is American Sign Language. Her youngest, age 3, has typical vision and hearing. His first language is English. They are a “bilingual household’ (both ASL and English are used). Sandra has taught at the elementary level and high school n general education classrooms. She is also a regular ‘blogger’ for Paths to Literacy Website; a website that helps support a love for literacy for children who are blind or visually impaired.  Sandra has also been a part of creating a module for Open Hands, Open Access: Deaf-Blind Intervener Learning Modules.  In addition, she has taught a webinar for Perkins School for the Blind titled, ” Accessible Books and Literacy: Supporting and Encouraging a Love for Literacy”.

 

LoveLiteracy Workshops Day 1

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There are four workshops running each day. You have the opportunity to attend two from the options below. (These workshops are not repeated the following day)

Workshop A. (Day 1)

Eat my Words!

Join this workshop to gain ideas for increasing vocabulary, semantic understanding and reading with a purpose.

Using everyday life skills make literacy come to life. A fast paced workshop for would be ‘Bake off’ contestants’ who will go away with sticky fingers and a pack of effective, useful and engaging ideas.

The session will use successful kitchen strategies, simple cooking skills and shopping lists which can be used to engage and inspire children and young people.

Presenter: Sue Mort

Sue is an experienced Habilitation Officer with over 20 years experience working with children and young people with a Visual Impairment. She works as a Practical Skills Tutor for the Institute of Education, UCL, where she has been involved in the development and implementation of Quality Standards and the standardization of training the next generation of Habilitation Specialists both within the UK and beyond. 

Workshop B. (Day 1)

Go4Literacy!

This workshop will look at how we enhance literacy through a programme of ‘Learning outside the classroom’ which we call Go4it!  How we develop a greater understanding of the world around us and use this knowledge to improve literacy skills. We will also look at the range of resources we use within the classroom and strategies we use to improve inclusivity throughout the school.

It will cover meeting the needs of a significant group of severely sight impaired children in a busy mainstream Primary School.

Presenters: Sue Adams and Andy Greenwood


Sue Adams: As many people do, I walked into my first job with vision impaired youngsters because I happened to be in the right place at the right time. I loved it from the beginning, I suppose as an Art teacher I loved the challenge to be endlessly creative. For 14 years I taught in a Special School for children with a vision impairment in Bradford, working across all ages from 2-19 yrs and covering all subjects. Following the closure of that school we established a resourced provision where I have been for the last 12 years. At Grove House Primary School we have a great team who aim to improve inclusion and make learning relevant and engaging for our Vision impaired children.  Even now I am excited by new challenges and am delighted that Gwyn has asked Andy and I to take part in this conference.

Andy Greenwood: During my time as classroom teacher at Grove House Primary school, I worked with children with a visual impairment. I was also PLT and responsible for all sport and outdoor learning in school, where I developed my skills in teaching children with VI before undertaking the QTVI training. I worked in the VI ARC at Grove House before moving into the Bradford VI Outreach and Support Team in 2014. I am always looking for ways to develop children’s life experiences. Climbing trees, exploring caves, sledging snowy slopes or free running are experiences that may be deemed too difficult or dangerous for VI learners…but aren’t these the building blocks to understanding the world around us? Without this understanding how can we be creative thinkers or effective story tellers?

Workshop C (Day one)

‘Tools for the task’

If you don’t find IT a challenge then you’ve signed up for the wrong workshop!

‘If you are to support someone climbing a mountain, it may be better to be one step ahead rather than shouting from the top’.

Wendy does not claim to be an IT specialist but recognises this is an area of anxiety for many teachers of visual impairment. Similarly, parents are anxious that their child uses specialist IT resources from early on and want to provide the ‘best’ tools to support learning. The session aims to explore ideas in how to integrate simple or more complex IT tools to creatively inspire the development of a love of literacy across an age range. Helen has the skills and imagination to promote a shared response in our consideration of the tools to use and how to apply them to the task. A further consideration will be the challenge faced by professionals in assimilating new technical skills and sharing ideas in the specialist field of IT.

Presenters: Wendy Whitwell and Helen Jones

Wendy Whitwell and Helen Jones are teachers of  the visually impaired who are part of the Sensory Support Service in Stockport. Wendy leads the team of teachers and specialist support assistants.

Workshop D (Day 1)

‘A bucket, a box, a basket – a story, a theme and a poem!’

Supporting the development of emerging literacy skills

Charlotte Cushman will introduce this workshop with a short overview about emerging literacy skills. Gwyn will lead the practical element of the workshop  focussing on how to support a holistic approach to emerging literacy skills.  ‘A bucket, a box and a basket’ will provide the base for  a wealth of practical creative ideas to make a story, a theme and a poem come to life for a child with visual impairment.

Presenters: Charlotte Cushman and Gwyn McCormack

Charlotte Cushman has been in the field of visual impairment for more than 30 years.  She taught at Perkins School for the Blind for many years, and has worked as an education consultant for children who are deafblind.   Charlotte has also worked extensively overseas, training teachers and developing curriculum for children with visual impairments and additional disabilities in Asia and Africa.  She currently develops online resources to support teachers, parents and others interested in the education of children with visual impairments.

Gwyn McCormack is the Director of Positive Eye, providing practical courses, consultancy and a bespoke product range to practitioners working with children and young people with visual impairment, in the UK and Europe and more recently in America. Gwyn uses her 17 years experience as a Qualified Teacher of VI to deliver imaginative and creative approaches, within easy to use frameworks, equipping the front line practitioner with the practical skills they require to support children and schools.

 

 

 

Frozen Literacy Resource

Creating a holistic approach based on a theme or story enables children who are visually impaired to access and enjoy literacy and numeracy activities in a meaningful way.

The film ‘Frozen’ has been tremendously popular with many children. The following are accessible, creative, fun ideas and suggestions to bring the story alive and to make it meaningful for children with visual impairments. The ideas offer a starting point and can all be adapted to suit the individual visual needs of the child you are working with.

Download the full resource sheet here

Watch the video clips on YouTube about the……

Frozen Story Bucket

Frozen Character Naming Game

Frozen Olaf Counting Game

TeachCVI project

During the next two years Positive Eye is participating in an Erasmus+ (European) project entitled ‘TeachCVI.’

The project partners are:

  • The National Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Iceland (coordinator)
  • Child Vision, Ireland
  • State Diagnostic Centre, Iceland
  • The Royal Blind, Uk
  • KU Leuven, Belgium
  • Agency for special needs education and schools, Sweden

Photos of partners in TeachCVI project

Photos of partners in TeachCVI project

The partners include a wide range of specialist professionals including low vision therapists, special educators, teachers of VI, plus a child neurologist and a paediatrician.

The aim of the project is to:

  • To build a bridge between the teacher/educator and healthcare professionals to benefit children with cerebral visual impairment

By:

  • making a tool for healthcare professionals and educators to screen for CVI
  • producing resources for assessment of CVI
  • creating teaching materials to support the child’s access to literacy

Our aim is to reach out to and disseminate the results of the project with as many educational and healthcare professionals as possible.

Visit www.teachcvi.net for more information

Feedback: Skills Tactile Graphics 1.12.15

Here is what the audience thought after attending the ‘Skills for Tactile Graphics course on the 1st December 2015.

The course included a free copy of the NEW SKILLS FOR TACTILE GRAPHICS Resource from Positive Eye.

Participants were guided through the hierarchy of tactile skills required to access graphics, starting with understanding real objects and concept development and moving through the stages of handling models, 2D representation and finally symbolic representation.

The key message of the day, of many, was:

Find the opportunities within the day to day curriculum to introduce, monitor, observe and build on these skills. Think of this curriculum spanning the child’s education sitting above what they do day to day in school. All these skills can easily be included within the day to day work in school, whatever their age.

Positive Eye can deliver this course to your Service, school or setting download flier 

To purchase the resource visit www.positiveeye.co.uk/positive-eye-shop page 3, item 30

 

Review of new product ‘Skills for Tactile Graphics’

Review of Positive Eye’s latest product by ‘Skills for Tactile Graphics’ by Dr Roxana Elena Cziker, Low Vision Therapist, Services and Institute for the Blind, visually impaired and deaf blind, Reykjavík, Iceland.

Photograph of resource ‘Skills for Tactile Graphics’

The resource “Skills for Tactile Graphic” is set up in a very professional and structural / organized way covering the holistic areas of practical tactile skills in children with vision impairment. The resource includes all the educational steps related to learning strategies for concrete, iconic and symbolic. The material is not only a resource which can be used in practice with blind children, but it also provides a clear description for teachers to apply in their daily activities to strengthen the tactile skills in blind children. Thus, the resource includes a checklist for development of skills providing a complete cycle of tactile development, evaluation – training – evaluation. I highly recommend this resource for teachers, parents of children with vision impairment as a model of creativity and passion in the field of vision impairment.

www.positiveeye.co.uk/positive-eye-shop page 3, item 30.