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The 'Saint Barnabas' School for the Blind
Nicosia, Cyprus
 
 CHILDREN WITH MULTIPLE DISABILITIES AND VISUAL IMPAIRMENT (MDVI)

In using this term, reference is made to children with two or more disabilities, one of which is visual impairment (VI).

At present, this population accounts for 60% of the general population of children with VI.

 Organisational factors in the provision of Services at the School for the Blind:

  • Placements of children at the School for the Blind
    • Admittance of children aged 3-18
    • Groups based on the children's ages and/or abilities
    • Activities and goals in all areas of development
    • An Individual Educational Programme for each student according to his/her needs, as these are evaluated by a multidisciplinary team
  • Early Intervention Programme The staff involved in the programme (which is described in detail in another section) organises its activities so as to include the needs of children with MDVI and their families.
  • Support services for children who attend other educational settings or stay at home
    • Regular support visits
    • Establishment of close cooperation with those involved in the education or the lives of children with MDVI
    • Information regarding the child's visual impairment and its possible implications in combination with the other disabilities
    • Suggestions for programmed planning, adaptation of activities and material, environment modification and ways to promote alternative communication based on non-visual cues
  • There is an immediate and essential need for continuous improvement and application of new programmes directed to the needs of this population.
  • Our goal for the future is to enable these children to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to function as full members of the community, to be self-dependent and act autonomously and, as far as possible, to be in a position to face life on their own.

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