The Habilitation team is part of the Wandsworth Vision Support Service.

Our team of Habilitation Specialists work alongside Qualified Teachers for the Visually Impaired (QTVIs). Where our QTVIs provide training and advice on accessing and differentiating the curriculum, the Habilitation team work directly with a young person to empower and enable safe and independent movement skills in their immediate environment, whilst attaining transferable skills for life.

Further to our one-to-one work with VI children and young people, we also provide advice and training to those around them, including parents/carers, staff within educational settings, and peer groups.

We are committed to developing a young person’s confidence, personal mobility, and navigation, maximising the opportunity for independence now and in the future.

Contact your dedicated QTVI to discuss a referral.

Our offer

Whilst the age, stage and aspirations of the young person will guide the nature of the Habilitation input, we offer:

  • Environmental familiarisation
  • Early movement skills
  • Development of auditory and tactile skills
  • Indoor travel skills
  • Use of mobility aids such as long canes
  • Wheelchair mobility
  • Road crossing
  • Use of public transport
  • Seeking appropriate sighted assistance
  • Use of technology for independence
  • Transition to independent travel
  • Independent living skills
  • School INSET training

Our outreach team are responsive and adaptable, seeing children and young people in a variety of settings including:

  • Home
  • Nursery
  • School
  • Further educational settings
  • Work placement

How we work

The Habilitation team help children and young people to develop the use of alternative independence skills and strategies, to provide them with information about their world.

Customised to the age, needs and development of the child, our strategies include using the other senses such as hearing, touch, taste, smell and balance in a coherent, planned and systematic way.

As the child reaches school age, we work with school staff as part of the transition process, along with other professionals, to develop the child’s independence when travelling to, being at, and returning home from school. This includes developing their independence skills in many areas of personal life such as dressing skills, personal care and eating, safe travel, shopping and leisure activities.

As a young person progresses through the different educational stages, we support them and their families through the various transitions between schooling stages and ultimately their progress to college, further education or employment.

Our links with Linden Lodge School

Orientation & mobility lessons at Linden Lodge School are delivered by the Habilitation team.  Our individualised programmes are tailored to each child and include exercises to develop compensatory skills related to their functional environment, and learning how to move around the classroom and school campus.

We provide information, training and advice to staff, parents and carers and have good links with all those concerned with the daily lives of the young people at Linden Lodge.

Some young people will have periods of direct teaching on pre-cane skills, often moving onto using mobility aids (such as a cane or a hoople). Others will need help to adapt their wheelchair skills to enable greater independence.

Our curriculum also includes navigating the wider city environment and we teach road and personal safety in collaboration with staff from the Emergency Services. Linden Lodge School also has a SMART power chair platform, and we provide direct training for our more complex users as well as training school staff on how to develop a SMART programme.

We work alongside school staff to aid the independence of the young students, enabling them to be confident as they move around their school, home, or local area.

Linden Lodge