Vision Rehabilitation Work as a Profession
Vision rehabilitation work with visually impaired people is a fascinating and rewarding profession. There are around five hundred Vision Rehabilitation Workers (sometimes called Rehabilitation Officers Visual Impairment, or ROVIs) working in the United Kingdom.
Vision Rehabilitation Workers work with adults and children and are employed in a number of different settings. These include adult social services, children’s social services, the NHS, national and regional voluntary organisations. A growing minority are now working in a freelance capacity.
Vision Rehabilitation Workers have qualified through a variety of different training bodies over the last thirty years. RWPN recognises the following qualifications as entitlement to practice as a Vision Rehabilitation Worker: Honours Degree in Rehabilitation Studies (visual impairment); Foundation Degree in Rehabilitation Studies; apprenticeship standard ST0431 Rehabilitation Worker (Visual Impairment); Diploma in Higher Education in Rehabilitation Studies; BTEC Professional Diploma in Rehabilitation Studies (Visual Impairment) Level 5; Graduate Diploma in Habilitation and Disabilities of Sight (children and young people); Graduate Diploma in Low Vision Rehabilitation; Original Certificate in Rehabilitation Work; Combined Mobility Officer and Technical Officer Certificate.
Vision Rehabilitation Workers are trained to broad criteria laid out within the Sensory Services National Occupational Standards. These were published in 2008 by Skills for Care. Please click here to open the Sensory Services Standards page of the Skills for Care and Development website and go to the link to Sensory Services at the bottom of the page.
Four of the eleven standards (numbers 8, 9, 10 and 11) relate directly to rehabilitation work and working with deafblind people. However, in addition, Standard 1 relates to Continued Professional Development and is the foundation for RWPN's CPD scheme (see below).
To work in Habilitation, professionals must adhere to the Quality Standards: Delivery of Habilitation Training (Mobility and Independent Living Skills) for Children and Young People with Visual Impairment
These Quality Standards are designed to ensure that children and young people with visual impairment are enabled, through high quality mobility and independence training and support, to achieve the greatest possible independence and maximise their educational outcomes and life chances.
Guidance: The Role of Sensory Assistant/Assistant Rehabilitation Officer This guidance is to help managers and their teams reach sound and safe conclusions about how services can be delivered using this supporting role, alongside qualified professionals.
The use of mobility scooters by sight-impaired people can create professional dilemmas for the workforce and it is not a clear-cut issue. We are grateful to Sight Scotland Veterans for permission to share this information leaflet that they have prepared and which sets out some considerations for the client. Considering getting a mobility scooter (1).docx