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By David Hinds, Head of English at NCW

Blog published 14th July 2016 | Category: Top Tips

The summer holidays are upon us. Endless days of sun, er rain, lounging around, relaxing. However, the holidays are also a time when students can begin to deskill themselves as they forget what they learnt at school. Of crucial importance is reading, the physical act of reading. Although it is great to enjoy the magic of being transported into other worlds via audio books, it is the actual skill of reading for yourself which gives you true ownership of the experience as well as ensuring that speed and accuracy of reading develop instead of atrophy from disuse.

Over the summer we have set students a reading challenge (see the homework sheet) and it is great if parents and carers support the challenge. Just by listening to a child readi... read more »


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By Nathalie Bufton, Head of Independent Living Skills at NCW

Blog published 1st March 2016 | Category: Top Tips

In our ever increasingly stressful lives, is it wrong for families to expect children to assist or take responsibility for particular household chores?

For some parents the answer is yes, others agree in theory but just don’t have the time or energy to enable the child to participate, and there are those who believe that childhood should be an enjoyable, responsibility- free time of life.

Now add the question - how do I teach a child with visual impairment to participate in household chores.

A chore is a job which benefits the household, but also a life skill; an activity that children should know how to do before living on their own. Most household tasks are important to develop in order to become an in... read more »


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By Sean Randall - Higher Level Teaching Assistant of IT

Blog published 1st July 2015 | Category: Top Tips

It’s surprising I can stand up straight. 5 years ago I used to cart huge cloth sacks of Braille books to the post office on a regular basis. 5 Years before that I had to carry, not only a laptop around but a hefty Perkins Brailler as well. Nowadays, hundreds of books are available in a phone on my belt or an eReader in my bag, and I can type on a device no heavier than a deck of playing cards. So what does all this suggest? That we should throw away our Braille skills and use technology for everything?

It might sound like a great idea to my poor teenage self, but really, we don’t want to cut off our noses to spite our faces here. If we forsake Braille entirely, we’re going to struggle.

The last few th... read more »


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By Sean Randall - Higher Level Teaching Assistant of IT

Blog published 20th June 2015 | Category: Top Tips

A Look Inside ... Money Reader

Recently our Head of Independent Living Skills published an article called the Top 7 Apps for Visually Impaired Young People. Today, I’d like to take you inside one of those apps, and look at it in more detail.

Looktell Money Reader

Function: Identifies bank notes in speech, Braille and large print

Price: £7.99

Compatibility: iPhone 3gs and UP, iPod 3rd Gen and up, iPad

How it works:

This is an amazingly simple app to use and one of the key ones I use when teaching the iPhone to blind people. As soon as the app is opened, “Money Reader Running" i... read more »


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By Nathalie Bufton, Head of Independent Living Skills at NCW

Blog published 8th June 2015 | Category: Top Tips

Mobile phones and apps are part of everyday life for most young people, using apps to entertain, find useful information and make life easier. For visually impaired students their smart phones are a not only a way to keep in touch with friends but the apps they use can be vital link to the outside world and make day to day tasks a lot easier. I've had a chat with my students and I’d like to share with you the top 7 apps that they use in their everyday life and give you some tips on how you can support them in learning how to use them.

Tap Tap see - this app helps students to identify objects they encounter in their daily lives. Simply take a photograph of anything and hear the app identify th... read more »

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