Rehabilitation Workers
Professional Network

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  • 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.

  • 05 Apr 2022 16:36 | RWPN Admin (Administrator)

    After many years of wishing it, wanting it, and working for it the RWPN Register of Vision Rehabilitation and Habilitation Professionals is now officially accredited by the Professional Standards Authority!

    You can read the press release from the Professional Standards Authority on their website here

  • 24 Feb 2022 19:33 | Simon Labbett (Administrator)

    IT survey feedback report.docx   Teaching blind and partially sighed people how to make the most of their phones and tablets is part of the job, but not everyone is as confident around tech developments.  This survey igave an incite into members' views.

  • 02 Feb 2022 19:21 | Simon Labbett (Administrator)

    All Orientation and Mobility specialists should familiarise themselves with the January 2022 changes to the Highway Code.  Below is the guidance issued to its Orientation and Mobility Specialists by Guide Dogs.  We endorse this advice. 

    “Whilst we welcome the greater emphasis on the safety of vulnerable road users and pedestrians, there is not yet widespread public awareness of these changes. As a result of this, our current recommendation is that guide dog owners and cane users do not change their behaviour when crossing the road.  They should take control of the situation and only cross when they feel it is safe to do so.  In many cases it will remain the safest option not to proceed in front of vehicles at junctions, including those that are giving way to them


    In summary the recommendation is that guide dog owners and cane users do not change their behaviour when crossing the road.  They should take control of the situation and only cross when they feel it is safe to do so.  The changes  to the hierarchy does not remove the need for everyone to maintain a level of responsibly to monitor and maintain their own safety. 


    So, our advice to people with sight loss is to take control of the situation and be clear to the motorist about their intention – waving the car on or stepping away from the kerb edge are clear signals that they are not prepared to proceed.  It is often safer for people with a vision impairment to ‘indent’ further into a side road before deciding to cross.  However, each person and situation are unique, and thus it is only possible to offer general guidance and advice”


  • 29 Jan 2022 14:37 | Simon Labbett (Administrator)

    We are pleased to report that the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) has accepted RWPN's application to join their  Employer Directory.  This allows us to have formal input into the external quality process for the vision rehabilitation apprenticeship standard, to ensure it meets the needs of employers and meets our professional standards.

  • 10 Jan 2022 15:00 | Simon Labbett (Administrator)

    In autumn and winter of 2021 we sought the views of registered professionals about their attitudes towards teaching Braille and teaching accessibility features of phones and tablets.  Read the results here.

    Braille survey feedback of results.docx

    IT survey feedback report.docx

Press Release: Second Sight  - Argus II Bionic Eye

Second Sight Argus press release.docx

click on the link to read

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