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  • 19 Nov 2023 11:24 | Simon Labbett (Administrator)

    RWPN is one of the partner organisations that has been actively working with RNIB over the last two years to produce this pathway.   The pathway provides a framework for how people experiencing sight loss should be receiving services from initial diagnosis to timely access to rehabilitation and living well after sight loss.    This report should be shown to commissioners and managers to explain what the work we do as specialists is so vital.

    Work is underway to produce an equivalent pathway for children and young people.  Read the document here.

  • 18 Jul 2023 18:34 | Simon Labbett (Administrator)

    RNIB, Guide Dogs and many others are encouraging blind and partially sighted people to join the consultation on these proposed closures.  We share their opposition to these proposals.  Read RNIB's statement here.

  • 14 Apr 2023 17:40 | Simon Labbett (Administrator)

    In March we were delighted to see the restart of the Graduate Diploma in Low Vision Rehabilitation at Glasgow Caledonian University.  20 students from across Scotland have enrolled. This much-needed boost for the workforce in Scotland has come about with the hard work of a consortium of organisations: The Alliance, Visibility Scotland, Sight Scotland, RNIB, RWPN and Glasgow Caledonian University.   We are all very grateful to The Alliance and Thomas Pocklington Trust for their significant support to subsidise the fees for students.  We hope this is the start of further learning opportunities and professional development around sensory loss in Scotland.

    We wish the students and the mentors all the best.

  • 14 Jan 2023 15:58 | Simon Labbett (Administrator)

    Bus stop by-passes (also called "floating bus stops"), which are usually sited on cycle super-highways, can cause a significant barrier for blind and partially sighed people. Crossing a busy bike lane at the designated points to reach these bus stops can be frightening and potentially dangerous.   We are currently developing work to devise ways of teaching techniques and approaches that could reduce the risks for vision impaired pedestrians.  If you are a practicing vision rehabilitation or habilitation specialist and you would like to join these discussions, please contact RWPN.

  • 23 Oct 2022 12:51 | Simon Labbett (Administrator)

    ADASS members are the employers representing the largest single body of Vision Rehabilitation and Habilitation Specialists in England.  Their endorsement of our register as best practice is a welcome reminder to employers that they should ensure their vision specialists are safeguarding their clients by being registeredADASS Vision Rehabilitation registration Position Statement Autumn 2022.docx.pdf

  • 19 Oct 2022 10:24 | Simon Labbett (Administrator)

    RWPN will be changing how we refer to our registrant professionals in the future.   Over 40% of our registrants voted in our consultation and 90% of them were in favour of the proposed name change. Henceforth we will be using the titles Vision Rehabilitation Specialist and Vision Habilitation Specialist.   We are specialist professionals with expertise and are registered as such.  We no longer feel the term "officer" or "worker" reflects our qualification.

    Many work settings will continue to use job titles such as Rehabilitation Officer Visual Impairment (ROVI) but we hope that the new name will be adopted locally in due course.  Read more RWPN Professional's Name Change - statement.pdf

  • 21 Sep 2022 10:37 | RWPN Admin (Administrator)

    The Scottish Sensory Hub is delighted to announce that the Graduate Vision Rehabilitation Course, Glasgow Caledonian University, will be reinstated, commencing January 2023. 

    The Scottish Visual Services Steering Group, comprising of the Scottish Sensory Hub, Visibility Scotland, Sight Scotland, RNIB Scotland and the Rehabilitation Workers’ Professional Network (RWPN) joined forces to tackle an impending crisis in provision and delivery of Rehabilitation Services across Scotland.

    An ageing workforce and lack of qualification pathway combined to pose a threat to future provision and delivery of Rehabilitation Services in Scotland, both now and in the immediate future. The reinstatement of the graduate qualification will provide 20 students, drawn from the third sector and Health and Social Care Partnerships with the opportunity to gain a formal rehabilitation qualification. Once qualified, these students, already employed or newly recruited to the sight loss sector, will alleviate gaps in Rehabilitation Service provision/delivery, alleviate the strain on current services, better meet demands and importantly, ensure that people affected by sight loss receive timely access to Rehabilitation Services, enabling people to adopt positive coping strategies, navigate independently, retain employment and live active, fulfilled lives.

    Due to the exceptional workforce circumstances identified by the Sensory Hub a total of 20 studentships across third sector and HSCP’s have received a 50% subsidy. Please note that any subsequent places from 2023 onwards will require full payment. 

    Thank you to members of the Scottish Visual Services Steering Group for their hard work in bringing this to fruition. In particular, thanks go to the SVSSG Chairperson, Laura Walker, CEO Visibility Scotland,  for her sustained commitment, drive and determination to reinstate this qualification pathway. Thanks go to Dr. Hazel McFarlane at the Scottish Sensory Hub for her detailed work and coordination and thanks also to Gillian Heavie and Susan Shippey in the Scottish Government’s Support for Augmentative & Alternative Communication and Sensory Loss Team for their skilled support and efforts to secure funding.

    Sincere thanks also go to The Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE) and Thomas Pocklington Trust for their generous funding, enabling subsidised places to be offered to Third Sector and HSCP employees and newly recruited staff.


  • 10 Jul 2022 10:04 | Simon Labbett (Administrator)

    We want you to share your views on the proposals for the review of the government's Trailblazer Apprenticeship Standard.  The current standard has been running for five years.  Largely because of the funding that follows from it, there has been a re-growth in the number of Vision Rehabilitation Workers entering the field in England.  

    The Institute for Apprenticeships and Training asked an employer group to review the standard. This draft has been put together by that employer group. The lead employer in the group is Guide Dogs (a list of the other employers is included at the end of the document).  This standard only applies to training in England but we really believe everyone should comment.   

    As you will see, the employer group is consulting on an apprenticeship standard where apprentices could now choose a two year rehabilitation or a habilitation route, both at level 5.  The rehabilitation option contains more detail than the former version, which should strengthen what is covered during the apprenticeship training.  When it comes to the habilitation option, this is new ground. We would strongly encourage our habilitation and dual-qualified registrants to comment. The deadline for responses is 1st August, so time is tight.

    Please follow the link below to find all the information you need – there is a full explanation of the background and purpose for this work, including general information on apprenticeships and how they work. It really helps to understand this before answering the questions! You access the standard document via another link within the consultation survey.

    Best wishes

    RWPN Management Committee

  • 12 May 2022 18:00 | Simon Labbett (Administrator)

    The second edition of the Habilitation Quality Standards were published this month.  Essential reading for habilitation professionals and anyone managing or commissioning habilitation services.

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