Decision details

LOP&S - 2122052 - Use of Wellbeing for Education Return funding to support habilitation of visually impaired students

Decision Maker: Director of Learning, Opportunities and Skills

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


1. To employ a habilitation officer using the Wellbeing for Education Return Grant: We have an increase in the number of Young People with higher levels of visual impairment who require support in order to be independent in their physical educational environment, their journey’s to school and their local communities. Many of these young people have experienced significant breaks in support and continuity in relation to this due to covid and have struggled to transition into new learning environments, work or training. This has had a resulting impact upon the wellbeing of this already vulnerable group, many of whom have had to transition into new physical environments with limited support for mobility and orientation. They have also missed out on key independent living skills that centre around organisation skills and access to equipment needed in lessons such as technology and PE Previous services in this field were historically funded and employed within adult services but these have since been withdrawn. The role covers these core functions:
• Assess and teach mobility and independent living skills to children and young people with vision impairment including Sighted guide skills, Trailling skills, Cane skills and Independent travel;
• To upskill and support parents and education professionals on how to support the mobility and independence of children and young people with vision impairment;
• To complete environmental audits of a range of settings and providing advice on how to ensure it is fit for purpose and safe for a child or young person with a vision impairment;
• To contribute to the development of the VI Service and maximise outcomes for the children and young people on caseload.


To use Wellbeing for Education Return funding in order to
support visually impaired children and young people through the employment of a Habilitation Officer

Alternative options considered:


2. Not employ a habiliation officer:
This would exacerbate existing difficulties for many visually impaired students in accessing the learning and social environment to support their learning. This group of young people are often unable to access mainstream support services and have been presented with disproportionately high levels of challenge in terms of mental health and physical access by the covid situation. Habilitation Officer for Children and Young People with a Vision Impairment. In turn
this would have a longer term impact on adult services who will have to cover these skills much later in their lives

Publication date: 12/10/2021

Date of decision: 26/08/2021

Accompanying Documents: