Rehabilitation Workers
Professional Network

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  • 15 Jun 2018 09:00 | Simon Labbett (Administrator)

    Booking is now open for the annual BCU/RWPN seminar in Birmingham.  All bookings and queries are through this website at BCU.

    Programme not yet finalised but will include workshops on feeling confident with simpler app-based technology (including Amazon Echo), a workshop on identifying CPD needs, a workshop for visually impaired workers looking at Access to Work amongst other things, a workshop around adapting practice with dementia. Also plenary presentations including research into the impact of visual impairment on development of movement and motor skills presented by a Habilitation professional.   

    Members £40, non-members £65 (Support Workers free and only pay for lunch on the day).  Anyone booking as a member will need to supply their membership number (if you click on your name on the website your page will appear and your number is next to your name.) Only members who have renewed will be able to claim members’ rate.

  • 28 Feb 2018 13:35 | Simon Labbett (Administrator)

    Fantastic news! The Institute for Apprenticeships has approved the Rehabilitation Worker standard ST0 431.   The single biggest boost to regenerating the workforce for England is now in place.  Here is the link to the standard.

    Currently the only provider of the two year training course is Birmingham City University (BCU). Any would-be apprentice needs to apply to BCU as soon as possible. BCU have written an excellent guide to the whole process of applying for levy funds and the BCU application process.  The Rehab Work apprenticeship - E-leaflet for employers (1).docx

  • 18 Jan 2018 14:26 | Simon Labbett (Administrator)

    Should canes always be white, or can they reflect the users' personality?

    Watch the film here, or go to the RNIB link here to join in the debate


  • 18 Jan 2018 14:23 | Simon Labbett (Administrator)
    Over one-third of blind and partially sighted people said that they sometimes, frequently or always experience negative attitudes from the public in relation to their sight loss especially when using a white cane (My Voice, RNIB). This film 'explains the cane'...

  • 06 Jan 2018 17:28 | Simon Labbett (Administrator)

    RWPN's response to the government consultation "Promoting professionalism, reforming regulation"  can be viewed here.  This consultation is concerned with the future registration of professionals, the bodies that hold registers and the way in which regulatory bodies can support professional standards 

  • 22 Sep 2017 16:29 | Simon Labbett (Administrator)

    Vision rehabilitation services are crucial to ensuring blind and partially sighted people remain as independent as possible. Now, new independent research commissioned by RNIB, with support from the Department of Health, has identified that the cost of providing vision rehabilitation services is dwarfed by the financial benefits.

    Independent research by the Office for Public Management (OPM) and based on a case study of services provided by Sight for Surrey has shown that the financial benefits of good vision rehabilitation services significantly outweigh the actual costs of delivering this service. In fact in the case study site, over £3.4 million of health and social care costs were avoided, reduced or deferred annually based on a service which cost an estimated £900,000 a year to deliver.

    See the link below for more detail

  • 21 Aug 2017 09:55 | Simon Labbett (Administrator)

    The Department of Health has launched the updated Certificate of Vision Impairment Form and Explanatory Notes. 

    Please see the link below

  • 15 May 2017 18:29 | Simon Labbett (Administrator)

    RNIB and RWPN have commissioned a Workforce Survey for the profession. It is the first of its kind and has just been published.  The findings make interesting reading and the report can be read here.

  • 17 Mar 2017 15:44 | Simon Labbett (Administrator)


    On Monday 6th March, leading sensory loss charities Thomas Pocklington Trust, Sense and Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) hosted an event in the Houses of Parliament to launch their report entitled “Experiences of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for People with Sensory Loss”.

    The report was produced by the three charities in partnership with NatCen, Britain's leading independent social research institute. The report highlights the experiences of people living with sensory loss, in navigating the PIP process. While it revealed that people with sensory loss eventually received a positive financial outcome following the switch to PIP from Disability Living Allowance, it also highlighted that the journey through the process for people living with sensory loss was overwhelmingly negative.  Issues with the accessibility of the ‘one size fits all’ approach were brought to light, along with a “confusing” PIP2 claim form and a troublesome experience in the face-to-face assessment, most notably a lack of sensitivity from assessors.

    The launch event was attended by MPs, representatives of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and key stakeholders from across the sector. The event was sponsored by Nusrat Ghani MP, chair of the APPG on Eye Health and Visual Impairment. The report was welcomed by Lord Low who spoke at the event and endorsed the importance of working with people with sensory loss to improve their access to, and navigation of, the PIP system.

    The report has a series of recommendations and urges DWP to work with Thomas Pocklington Trust, Sense and RNIB to promptly address key concerns and ensure that all PIP applicants, including people with sensory loss, have a positive and straight forward experience.

    Lord Low of Dalston said:

    “I would like to thank Thomas Pocklington Trust, RNIB and Sense who commissioned this research and NatCen Social Research, who carried it out. It’s hard to think of an issue which would be more important for visually impaired people. The research being launched today is invaluable in highlighting the problems in the PIP application process for visually impaired people, and in helping to bring about improvements.

    “I support the recommendations made in this report, and I hope that DWP will be willing to work with sensory loss organisations to make the necessary changes to improve the process and the experience of people with sensory loss.

    “I hope everyone will show their support in doing what they can to get behind this report and help make the PIP application process more straightforward and above all more accessible for people with sensory loss.”


    Marsha de Cordova, Engagement and Advocacy Director, Thomas Pocklington Trust said:

    “We are pleased to have launched our report in Parliament today in conjunction with Sense, RNIB and NatCen. It is absolutely vital that people with sensory loss are able to easily navigate the PIP system, and we look forward to working with the Government on our recommendations to guarantee a smooth transition between Disability Living Allowance and PIP.”

    Fazilet Hadi, Director of Engagement at RNIB, said:

    “Blind and partially sighted people should be able to expect an accessible PIP application process, with all information provided in their required format, and assessments carried out sympathetically and accurately by trained staff. The DWP has a responsibility for making sure this happens.”

    Jasmine Basran, Policy Advisor at Sense, said:

    “The experience of PIP assessments for people with complex needs are overwhelmingly negative and cause unnecessary stress, which leads to high appeal rates. Assessors lack knowledge and sensitivity of complex conditions like deafblindness and this leads to poor practice, including people with complex needs receiving information and PIP forms in inaccessible formats, and making assumptions about capabilities based on inaccurate tests. The DWP must review the PIP process and take responsibility for the quality of training, including increasing specialist knowledge among assessors, as a first step to improving the PIP process.”

Press Release: Second Sight  - Argus II Bionic Eye

Second Sight Argus press release.docx

click on the link to read

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