‘We’re on their side, aren’t we?’ Exploring qualified teacher of children and young people with vision impairment (QTVI) views on the role of supporting the emotional well-being of visually impaired children

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Abstract

Mindful of the assertion that children with vision impairment (VI) are three times more likely than their peers to develop a mental health problem, this study aimed to identify practitioner-perceived priorities in supporting the emotional well-being of visually impaired children, via eliciting self-reported explorations of professional practice and experiences of Qualified Teacher of Children and Young People with Vision Impairment (QTVI). Using a focus group-based interviewing technique with QTVIs from a single peripatetic VI advisory service in England, the study found that despite evident good practice, the QTVIs could feel inhibited by a lack of confidence in their ability to deliver adequate and appropriate intervention. This stems from a perceived lack of knowledge of resources available, a feeling of ‘reinventing the wheel’ and ‘bolting on’ to existing generic materials to try to improve their relevance to VI, and also an uncertainty regarding ownership of delivery of such interventions. QTVIs demonstrated clear willingness to support the emotional well-being of pupils on their caseload, but expressed a desire for more professional training, a clearer understanding of the breadth of the QTVI role, and a centralisation of knowledge and resources pertaining to emotional well-being. Therefore, this article recommends the development of resources for sharing good practice, as well as encouraging the VI educational sector to provide additional continuing professional development opportunities, and also potentially a review of the course specification of the Mandatory Qualification for Vision Impairment Teaching in England.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Visual Impairment
Early online date3 Feb 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Emotional well-being
  • focus groups
  • inclusion
  • interpersonal barriers
  • intrapersonal barriers
  • mental health
  • vision impairment
  • visually impaired children
  • Qualified Teacher of Children and Young People with Vision Impairment

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