Rehabilitation Workers
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  • 28 Jan 2024 10:42 | Simon Labbett (Administrator)
    The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) sent out a FoI request to all local authorities in England late in 2023.  They want to understand the state of vision rehabilitation provision in England and respond accordingly.  RNIB received responses from 140 (out of 155).   RNIB will be publishing the findings in March or April.  however, we do know that 26% of respondent local authorities had unfilled vacancies for Vision Rehabilitation Specialist posts.  This is clearly an unsustainable state of affairs and we will be working with RNIB and partner organisations to address this.
  • 12 Dec 2023 17:53 | Simon Labbett (Administrator)

    The charity Living Streets has now published its research report into Continuous Footways.  It is a complex subject with no simple solutions. However, navigating these interfaces between road traffic and pedestrians is becoming part of our O&M experience.  The report looks at solutions to making Continuous Footways work for all parties.

    For more information about Living Streets and other projects click here

  • 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.


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Press Release: Second Sight  - Argus II Bionic Eye

Second Sight Argus press release.docx

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