Welcome to The Vision Book: My Child, Our Journey.
The Vision Book: My Child, Our Journey starts by looking at a child in their early years, at the time of diagnosis, and covers their experience at school and into early adulthood. It also features stories from people who have parented or supported a blind or low vision child or have lived with a vision impairment themselves.
The book gives readers a general idea of what to expect, recognising that your own experience may look quite different to what is represented here. We hope, however, it will give you confidence and reassure you that there are many people and organisations available to support you and your child. We also hope that it will give you an idea of how the services available are likely to change, depending on your child’s needs, age and where your child is at in life. You will see that education is a central theme of this book, but we hope it also weaves in enough information about the parent, health and disability services available to be useful in a broader sense.
The book is not intended to be read in one go, but rather dipped into as and when needed, overtime. Readers wanting quick access to information about a particular topic are encouraged to use the indexed glossary at the back.
The Vision Book: My Child, Our Journey is the first book of its kind developed by the Ministry of Education and its partners. The idea is to add to what is here and develop more materials for the blind, deafblind and low vision community over time. To help us, please tell us what you think of this book. Is it useful? What parts work well? What could be improved? Your feedback is important and will play a key role in any further information. Thank you. Please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A note about the terms used in this book
In this book, we refer to children and young people who are blind, deafblind or who have low vision.
We recognise that this is a diverse group of children and young people—and that some of them may also have physical, intellectual and/or developmental needs or conditions that improve, deteriorate or change over time.
However, we have chosen to use the following definitions of blind, deafblind and low vision (thank you to the Blind Foundation for help with these definitions).
Blind—having either no vision at all or very low vision. Some blind people will be able to see shadows and movement, but they get most of their information about the world from senses other than vision.
Deafblind (also called dual sensory)—having a combined loss of hearing and vision, affecting the ability to do everyday things, especially communicating with others and accessing information.
Low vision—having a loss of vision that affects someone’s ability to complete everyday activities such as reading, looking at pictures, playing games or moving about. People with low vision have some useful vision, but their ability to use that vision may vary from day-to-day and task-to-task.