The Vision Friendly Mark has been established to enable special schools to be recognised and awarded for demonstrating best practice and a commitment to providing appropriate and accessible curricula and environments to children and young people with vision impairment (VI)
PRE-REQUISITE: The Qualified Teacher of VI/MSI (QTVI/QTMSI) and the Qualified Habilitation Specialist (QHS) are significant in supporting the school to achieve this award. Participation in the award requires the involvement of a QTVI/QTMSI and a QHS.
The Mark comprises two standards
STANDARD 1: Whole school management
STANDARD 2: Creating a vision friendly school environment
VISION FRIENDLY MARK LEVELS:
A. SILVER LEVEL – the setting/school demonstrate they are vision friendly, both at a whole school level and within the classroom environment. The school have access to, communicate with and follow the advice and recommendations of the QTVI/QTMSI and the QHS as directed.
B. GOLD LEVEL – the setting/school demonstrate they are vision friendly, both at a whole school level and within the classroom environment. The school have the regular involvement of a QTVI/QTMSI; children with VI receive functional vision assessments; follow recommendations of the QTVI/QTMSI as directed; an environmental audit/recommendations are provided by the QHS and are followed as directed.
At the outset the school selects either the silver or the gold level standard to apply for
The school has approximately 12 months to collect the evidence for each standard
Over a 12 month period evidence towards each standard is collated in a Vision Friendly School Log. At the end of this period, a Qualified Teacher of VI and a Habilitation Specialist from Positive Eye carry out an onsite visit to assess the school’s vision friendly practices
VISION FRIENDLY MARK ASSESSORS
Positive Eye heads a small team of Vision Friendly Mark assessors. All are Qualified Teachers of VI (QTVI) with extensive experience of running peripatetic services for children and young people with VI. There is also an experienced Qualified Habilitation Officer (QHS) within the team to assess specific areas relating to their area of expertise
Following the assessment visit the school will receive a summary report indicating whether they been successful in achieving the Vision Friendly Mark. The report will be sent to the school within one calendar month of the visit
RECEIPT OF THE VISION FRIENDLY MARK AWARD
Successful schools will receive a framed certificate and the Vision Friendly Mark logo within 8 weeks of the assessment visit
VISION FRIENDLY MARK EXPIRY DATE
The mark expires three years after the date it was achieved. The re-application process can commence up to 12 months before expiry to allow for continuity
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS the VISION FRIENDLY MARK WAS DEVELOPED IN COLLABORATION WITH:
Yvonne Smith: Advisory Teacher for Pupils with VI & Complex Learning Needs, Bradford MBC; Joanne Jones & Michael Ritson: Qualified Teachers of VI – Oldham Council; Tameside MBC. Sue Mort: Practical Skills Tutor: Graduate Diploma in Habilitation and Disabilities of Sight kindly contributed the Habilitation standards