We will be regularly updating this page of resources and information.
We are working with RNIB and NatSIP (www.natsip.org.uk/) and other sensory impairment charities to support you during the Covid 19 crisis.
Detailed information for education professionals is now available by visiting: https://viewweb.org.uk/coronavirus/
Latest on school and Covid 19
From 17 May, guidance from DfE on the use of face coverings in schools has changed. Visit NatSIP’s “Guidance on face coverings in education 10 May 2021” for the latest update. Also see the blog post on face coverings produced by NDCS, which is relevant to children and young people with VI.
We’ve updated guidance that we produced jointly with NatSIP and RNIB about the return to school and how specialist support for children with VI can be provided in the context of government requirements and regulations.
- Meeting the needs of children with vision impairment as schools and colleges re-open (Word, 107KB) – updated March 2021.
Advice and support
Support from RNIB
- Support for families during lockdown – from RNIB including events
- Coronavirus information on VI forum. Not a member? Join here.
- Advice and support to professionals is now live on the following page: www.rnib.org.uk/educationprofessionals
- RNIB CYPF Education team is available as usual to support you with advice and information, telephone 0303 123 9999 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org titled “how we can help.”
- Eye clinic appointments: a guide for parents – If you’re concerned about attending your child’s hospital eye clinic appointment during coronavirus, the information below should help you prepare for the visit.
The Council for Disabled Children FAQ – SEND support during the Coronavirus pandemic
This FAQ shares questions sent into the CDCQuestions@ncb.org.uk email inbox.
Each week the questions received are collated and shared with the Department for Education (DfE) as well as colleagues with specific areas of expertise within CDC.
Information from NDCS
A lot of the following content is applicable to VI children and young people
- https://www.ndcs.org.uk/blog/coronavirus-and-support-for-deaf-children-information-for-professionals/ – frequently updated information around school closures, and children with EHC plans/statements.
Information on school closures/return to school
RNIB, together with VIEW and other partners and practitioners, are in the process of collating responses from across the sector on protocols, guidance, risk assessments around the safe return to school. We are creating a repository of documents and guidance (with permission of writers) that have been created so that they are readily available for services and staff round the UK.
How to support learners with VI to understand the 2 metre social distancing recommendation – adapted for learners with vision impairment by Stephanie Phillips QTVI. (Original source Phoenix Learning and Care – Speech and Language Therapy Team)
Coping with School Closures During COVID-19 – ideas and resources compiled by Paths to Literacy
Home learning support
Some of the resources shared are not specific to vision impairment, but many can be adapted. Suggestions from colleagues in the field will be very helpful! Please email email@example.com
Accessible home learning with RNIB Bookshare Using RNIB Bookshare at home will allow learners to be independent or supported by a parent in their home learning and able to access the resources they need in a format they can read. Please make sure you add your learners (https://www.rnibbookshare.org/cms/help-center/how-do-i-add-members)! If you have any difficulties accessing accounts, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call on tel0300 303 8313.
A calming space – Suzanne Little and Hannah Burnley have produced a document around calming spaces for children with complex needs and VI over the COVID 19 pandemic. This can be downloaded from the VIEW website.
Online workshops for children and families
Positive Eye has compiled a page of resources to provide families with some fun ideas, activities and inspiration during the periods of time spent at home during the months of the COVID19 Epidemic.
Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2020 is accepting braille entries. The competition is open to anyone aged 11-17 – deadline is midnight 31 July 2020. To enter an entry in Braille then contact email@example.com.
Online support and networks for children and/or families
The VICTA Parent Network – support network for parents.
Support for learning at home
GOSH Power of Play – A treasure trove of games, tips and resources from the Play team to help your family through this worrying time.
App-tastic – VICTA Science competition with Microsoft and City, University of London. A great project for 10 to 17 year olds to get involved in while you are home schooling. Invent your own app! The competition closes at 5pm on 30 April 2020.
Teach CVI website – use the far right tab on the home page menu for lots of CVI related resources!
Doorway Online is a collection of free and highly accessible educational games that learners will find easy to use independently.
Accessibyte – Accessibyte are offering free access to its apps for blind, low vision, deaf and reading impaired students
“Meet Me Accessibly“ – a guide to Zoom Cloud Meetings from a blindness perspective
Making play inclusive – Sense has developed a set of play toolkits for parents and professionals to provide information and advice on enabling children with complex disabilities to enjoy inclusive play.
Royal Blind Learning Hub – free braille games and worksheets.
Accessible PE at home
About the coronvirus
The BBC Newsround site has a comprehensive section on coronavirus with text and video guidance focusing on tips if a child is worried, how to wash your hands, and what self-isolation means.
Mencap easy read information sheet about coronavirus. This would be particularly useful for children, young people or adults whose understanding is improved when information is given in bitesize chunks.
Dave the Dog is worried about coronavirus – A book for young children to relieve fears about coronavirus. From Nurse Dotty Books
Advice from Contact, including on health, education and benefits
General learning resources
Resources collated by the Department for Education: “These websites have been identified by some of the country’s leading educational experts and offer a wide range of support and resources for pupils of all ages.”
100 Challenge Ideas for Home Learners – home learning ideas and activities
Twinkl – free access to Twinkl resources for primary and secondary ages. Use the code: CVDTWINKLHELPS
TopMarks – “Helping teachers and parents save time finding online educational resources”
HelpKidzLearn wants to ensure that teachers and students stay connected and children continue their learning at home with minimum disruption. Website includes free access to games, many suitable for children with additional needs.
Tiny T’s Storytelling and Theatre – Interactive storytelling of many children’s classics, posted live on YouTube.
BBC Teach Live Lessons for primary schools – Fun and interactive curriculum linked programmes for your classroom
BBC Teach Live Lessons for secondary schools – Fun and interactive curriculum linked programmes for your classroom
Lockdown: the best free online experiences to stave off boredom – from the Guardian – includes links to free theatre, free exercises, free art exhibitions, free language lessons, and free maths lessons
Chatter Pack – home learning resources for schools and families
Inclusive Teach – Free resources from Joe White, Assistant Headteacher of Broadstairs Special School
Busy Things Help children learn through play with Busy Things. Fun educational games for kids aged 3–11 on a huge range of subjects.
BorrowBooks App – free eBooks and eAudiobooks .
Scholastic learn at home Every day includes four separate learning experiences, each built around a thrilling, meaningful story or video.
Audible – For as long as schools are closed, instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages.
Khan Academy – good for maths and computing for all ages but other subjects at Secondary level. Note this uses the U.S. grade system but it’s mostly common material
BBC Learning – this site is old and no longer updated and yet there’s so much still available, from language learning to BBC Bitesize for revision. No TV licence required except for content on BBC iPlayer.
Futurelearn – Free to access 100s of courses, only pay to upgrade if you need a certificate in your name (own account from age 14+ but younger learners can use a parent account)
Seneca – For those revising at GCSE or A level. Tons of free revision content. Paid access to higher level material.
Openlearn – free taster courses aimed at those considering Open University but everyone can access it. Adult level, but some e.g. nature and environment courses could well be of interest to young people.
Blockly Learn computer programming skills – fun and free.
Scratch – Creative computer programming
Ted Ed – All sorts of engaging educational videos
National Geographic Kids – for primary children
Duolingo – Learn languages for free
Mystery Science Free science lessons
The Kids Should See This Wide range of cool educational videos
Crash Course – You Tube videos on many subjects
Crash Course Kids As above for a younger audience
Crest Awards Science awards you can complete from home.
iDEA Awards – Digital enterprise award scheme you can complete online.
Paw Print Badges – free challenge packs and other downloads. Many activities can be completed indoors. Badges cost but are optional.
Tinkercad – all kinds of making
Cbeebies Radio – listening activities for the younger ones.
Big History Project -Aimed at Secondary age. Multi disciplinary activities.
Geography Games – Geography gaming!
Zero to Three – at home activity guide for young children
Zero to Three – five tips for making the most of video chats to family and friends with young children.
Virtual tours and resources
Museums, nature and landmarks
- Science Museum
- Natural History Museum
- National Portrait Gallery
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art
- The Louvre
- The Vatican Museum
- Vincent Van Gogh Museum
Animals, wildlife and nature
- Virtual tours of Forestry England forests, by partnering with Google Expeditions
- 12 live animal webcams to get you through social distancing
- Edinburgh Zoo – Live Webcams
- LOOK UK -Free Counselling with Look and York College
- CAHMS resources – support for coping with the cornavirus
- WHO guidance to support mental health during this time
- Coronavirus – supporting education staff – from education support
- MIND coronavirus and your wellbeing
- Swings and Smiles blog on mental health for parents.
- Mini-blog for siblings of disabled children staying at home
- COVID-19 UK Mutual Aid groups – A list of support groups across the UK
- UNICEF – six ways parents can support their children through the coronavirus
- Make a self soothe box
- The YoungMinds UK advice on what to do if you’re anxious about coronavirus might be more useful for teens and young adults. The main focus is on self-care and they provide further information about how young people can look after their mental health if self-isolating. YoungMinds Crisis Messenger – Provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK if you are experiencing a mental health crisis. If you need urgent help text YM to 85258
- Moderated chat forum for siblings aged 7 to 17.
- Childline – Comforts, advises and protects children 24 hours a day and offers free confidential counselling. Phone 0800 1111 (24 hours)
- Chat 1-2-1 with a counsellor online
- The Mix – Information, support and listening for people under 25. Phone 0808 808 4994 (24 hours). Get support online
- Samaritans. 24 hour confidential listening and support for anyone who needs it. (Adults included.) firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone 116 123 (24 hours)
Supporting children and families with bereavement during the Coronavirus
- Child Bereavement UK have made a short film about supporting bereaved children during the outbreak
- Winston’s Wish have produced guidance on
- Cruse Bereavement Care have produced helpful resources about grief and coronavirus – Cruse Bereavement Care – free confidential support for adults and children. Phone: 0844 477 9400 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).
- Grief Encounter are running activities for bereaved children and families on their Instagram page.