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Our advice pages are aimed to help you and your family feel equipped with expert knowledge throughout your sight loss journey.

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Lunchbox tips

Like all parents, you want your child to enjoy their lunch and feel comfortable eating in any environment. Your child’s lunchbox needs to be practical, easy to identify and appealing to your child.

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Starting school

Your child’s first day at school can be an exciting but sometimes uncertain time for both of you. This 'starting school' checklist will help your child to prepare which can boost their confidence, ensuring it is a positive experience for you both.

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Thank you for letting us know when your child is starting school

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Sign up to our preparing for primary school emails

You want your child to have the best first day, from getting dressed in the morning, to eating lunch, there are lots tips to help you both enjoy their first day

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Getting to know the capabilities of your child with complex needs

When vision impairment is combined with other complex needs, there are many ways you can encourage your child’s development. Find out what motivates them to explore, for example, multi-sensory activities, food, music and so on. 

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Building your child’s confidence for their first day at school

If you are positive and confident about your child’s first day at school, they will feel happier and much less stressed.  These practical tips apply to any child with a vision impairment.  

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Join the RSBC parent community

Give us your email address and we'll let you know when it's live.

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First day at school

Your child’s first day at school can be an exciting but uncertain time for both you and them, however there is no need to worry.

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Getting to know your child’s capabilities 

All children develop in their own way, but your child’s vision impairment may have an impact on some areas of their development. Being aware of your child’s capabilities means you can support them and help them to develop skills, at their own pace.

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Building your child's confidence and independence at home

Your child will need some form of motivation to move. It’s important to encourage them to move early on, through play or through touch, sound, smell or residual vision.

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Lets us know advice you would like for your child with complex needs

RSBC specialises in helping families with a child or children with a vision impairment. Many children also have other needs.

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Building your child's confidence and independence at school

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Does your child need help with travel arrangements?

If your child is likely to need support getting to and from school, this may be available. If you have an EHCP, you may need an annual review.

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School Transition Days

What to expect, what questions to ask (before and after)

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Preparing for primary school

Helpful tips and advice on how to prepare you and your child for primary school

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Talking helps

As a parent of a child with vision impairment, you may need help from different people at various stages throughout your child’s development.

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Things to consider when visiting a mainstream school open day

Our advice and tips will help you ask the right questions on open days

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What to think about when visiting a school open day

Open days are a fantastic opportunity to find out more about potential schools. Our advice and practical tips will help you ask the right questions and choose a school where your child will thrive.

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Different school options explained

Some things to consider when choosing your school

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Children with complex needs

Understanding what my child with complex needs can see and do

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What your child can see: Light sensitivity, colours and fluctuating vision

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What your child can see and do

Learn more about what your child can see to understand their needs better.

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Helping your child to develop and learn

Practical advice and suggestions to help your vision impaired baby or toddler develop and learn.

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Going to school: choosing the right school and getting the right support

Choosing a school is a big decision. From choosing the right school for your child, to ensuring the school is aware of your child's sight impairments, there are several steps you can take to make sure you feel confident in your decisions.

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Dealing with a visual impairment diagnosis

There are several signs to look out for if you think your child may have a visual impairment. Follow these steps towards a diagnosis and hear stories from parents and young people who have been through it.

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Helping your child to explain their condition

Teachers and children may not understand the type of vision impairment your child might have. Creating a School Passport is a fun way for your child can introduce themselves.

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Things you can do to help your vision impaired preschooler develop

How to help your blind or partially sighted 1 to 3 year old to walk, talk, learn and make friends.

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Spotting vision impairment in a child and what to do about it

You may have some indications from birth that your child has a vision impairment, or you may notice signs as your baby grows.

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You think your child is vision impaired - steps to a diagnosis

If you think your child is vision impaired, follow these steps to reach a diagnosis.

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Getting a Certificate of Vision Impairment (CVI)

What is a Certificate of Vision Impairment and how do you get one.

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Getting support from professionals for your VI child: who does what

The range of specialists that could be involved in supporting your vision impaired child’s health, education, development and welfare

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Things you can do to help your vision impaired baby's development

How you can help your vision impaired baby learn and explore the world around them.

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Supporting your vision impaired child to learn to read

How to help your blind or partially-sighted child learn to read, including choosing books, playing games and braille.

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Finding the right school for your vision impaired child

Choosing a school is a big decision for you and your child. To help you feel confident in making this decision, here are some tips.

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Finding a job as a vision impaired young person

As a general rule, you will have the same questions and issues searching for a job as a sighted person. However, there are some things that are specific to your circumstances.

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Tell us how you think we can improve

A suggestion box for recipients of the 'preparing for primary school' email series.

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Using technology when living with sight loss

Technology and other aids can help you live an independent life. Most smartphones, tablets and computers now contain accessibility features meaning that you can use the same devices as everyone else.

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Registering your child as vision impaired with your local council

What to expect when you register your child as sight impaired (partially sighted) or severely sight impaired (blind) with your local council.

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Employers: how to employ and support blind and partially sighted people

How to recruit, employ and retain vision impaired people, including how to give the right support so that they can do their job.

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Dealing with a visual impairment diagnosis: Natalie's story

Hear from Natalie about how she coped with her child's vision impairment and cerebral palsy, following a premature birth.

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Dealing with a vision impairment diagnosis: Matt's Story

Hear from Matt and his dad Mark as they talk about dealing with Matt's sudden sight loss at the age of 23.

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Dealing with a visual impairment diagnosis: Julia's story

Hear from Julia talking about her daughter's sight impairment diagnosis at her 8 month check, and how her family have dealt with Myla's condition since then.

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Your family doctor

Your doctor, or GP, can help with the general care of your child. If you have any health concerns you usually see your GP first.

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Eye care professionals

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Teachers and education specialists

Many blind and partially sighted children go to mainstream schools. With the help of education professionals you can make sure your child gets the right support.

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Update your email preferences here

Let us know if you want to continue receiving the 'preparing for primary school' email series.

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Specialist therapy

You may see therapists who specialise in different areas to help with your child’s additional needs.

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Practical help at home

Health and well-being professionals can offer practical help and support at home.

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Finding ways to let your sight impaired baby know you are there and love them

How you can find ways to make your baby aware of who you are and that you are there for them.

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Help your vision impaired child learn through touch

Touching things helps your blind or partially sighted baby to understand and navigate the world around them.

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Ways to help your vision impaired baby move around

Blind or partially sighted babies often don’t crawl by themselves. Sighted children crawl because they see something they want.

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Getting the right support for your child at school

You can apply for an education, health and care plan (EHCP) for your child with your local authority.

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Making your child's school aware of their sight impairment

Once you know where your child is going to school, take time to explain what makes things more difficult for your child’s condition.

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Helping your pre-schooler to explore their surroundings

Moving around gives your child many more opportunities to understand the world.

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Learning to be independent

Your toddler will become more independent if you let them help you with jobs around the house.

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Help your toddler to talk

Your vision impaired child may find it harder to see what’s going on around them and mean they are less motivated to communicate. Here are some methods to help learn how to talk.

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Help your toddler to learn

Most toddlers learn through sight, so your vision impaired toddler may have less information available to them to learn.

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Help your toddler make friends

It may be more difficult for your child if they miss the cues we use to interact, like facial expressions and body language. You can give them a bit of extra help to get started if they have trouble socialising.

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Starting playgroup or nursery

Most vision impaired children are able to go to a mainstream playgroup or nursery.

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Your family’s relationship with your toddler

It may take time for your family to get used to your toddler’s condition and they may react in different ways.

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Make your home safe

Here are things you can do to help make your home safer

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Find out what you are good at and match it to some jobs

To start with make a list of your strengths and weaknesses, and start matching them against relevant careers.

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Research the jobs you want to go for

Once you roughly know what you are interested in, try these steps to help you find jobs you are interested in.

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Going to interviews and getting work experience

Your first step into the job market could be getting work experience.

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Finding and keeping a job

You’ve got work experience under your belt, now you are looking for your job.

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Treating disabled employees fairly

A vision impairment, or any other disability, should not stand in the way of work. Equality laws protect disabled people to make sure that they aren’t at a disadvantage at work. This applies when they’re applying for or doing a job.

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Benefits of employing vision impaired people

Recruiting and keeping talented disabled people in your workforce is good for business.

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Recruiting people with vision impairment

By law your recruitment policy must be inclusive, a disabled job applicant must not be disadvantaged within the recruitment process.

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Help with the selection and interview process

As soon as a vision impaired person tells you they want to apply for a job, you have a duty to help them.

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Making adjustments to support VI employees

If you employ someone with a vision impairment, you must make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to make sure they can do their job.

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Access to Work scheme

The Access to Work scheme provides grants to cover the costs of specialist equipment, adaptations or support workers to help employees carry out their work, they also can support with getting to and from work.

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Technology to help vision impaired employees

There's a lot of technology available that can help vision impaired employees.

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Health and safety in the work place

You may have concerns about health and safety when employing someone who’s disabled. You must not allow this to discriminate against a disabled employee.

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Reading with your baby

It’s never too early to introduce your 0-12 month-old baby to books. They enjoy hearing your voice and listening to stories even if they don’t understand them.

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Reading with your toddler

From the ages 1 to 4 your toddler will get more interested in books. Read with them as often as you can and praise them when they try to join in.

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Borrowing large print or braille books

You should be able to borrow large print, braille and talking books for free from your library.

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Helping your child learn braille

Braille is a tactile code which enables blind and vision impaired people to read. It uses the alphabet and numbers but your child reads with their fingers. It’s based on 6 raised dots in 2 columns of 3.

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