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A positive behaviour support approach to vision

Avenues Practice Development team are working in collaboration with The National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to raise awareness and deliver 'Vision Champion' training at Avenues around how visual impairments may link to behaviour that challenges and positive behaviour support (PBS).

Recent research into vision health suggests that 40% of people with a learning disability have a visual impairment, and this figure may be closer to 100% in people with severe or profound disabilities; like many of the people we support.

For some people with learning disabilities, visual impairment may actually be the cause of behaviour that challenges or self-injurious behaviour. By better understanding the different types of visual impairments people we support may be experiencing, how they manifest in people with communication difficulties and the impact they have, we will be better placed to deal with these using a PBS approach. This in turn will hopefully lead to a reduction in behaviour that challenges, where visual impairments were the underlying cause of this behaviour.

In April Iain Kennedy, UK Training and Development manager at RNIB delivered the first training course to a group of 10 employees from Avenues. This training focussed on visual awareness, identifying potentially ‘hidden’ sight loss for people we support and using the Vision Champion’s toolkit. The aim of the training is to support staff to identify sight loss, access eye care services and develop meaningful sensory information to include in support plans.

Following the delivery of this course our Practice Development Team are continuing to work alongside RNIB to develop and tailor the training to Avenues, deliver it to more staff and create resources and materials that can be used across the organisation.

25th May 2017