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Click Here for May 03 mins.

London Rehabilitation Workers Forum

Minutes of the meeting held on 23/05/03


Pauline Cooper Bexley
David Marke Brent
David Samuels Brent
Deborah Kershaw (mins) Brent
George Marr Camden
Stuart Smith (chair) Ealing
Julie Hogarth Ealing
Judy Bould Ealing
Henry Bufford Greenwich
Keith Ottaway Greenwich
Joanne Ridgley Hackney
Peter Foster Hackney
B. Allison Vaughan Hackney
George Monaghan Hammersmith & Fulham
Mo Brace Havering
James Bole Hertfordshire
Jackie Gardner Hertfordshire
Fiona Moody Hillingdon
Carol Monaghan Kensington & Chelsea
Miriam Osbourne Kingston
Nyami Enyako Lambeth
Leigh Harris Lewisham
Elizabeth Agar Merton
Shelley Hart Sutton
Julie Walsh Sutton (locum)
Laurence Gardner Tower Hamlets
Jean Malacrida Wandsworth
Gill Clegg Westminster


1 Joyce Anson - Linden Lodge school.

Email llsmobility@hotmail .com

Linden Lodge school takes day pupils and boarders. Most children attending the school have other disabilities e.g. learning disability, physical disabilities and challenging behaviour.

The Mobility Team has 3 workers at present. Joyce has worked there for 14 years and was in social services before that. She says it is important for school teams to share work with SS dept., not to replace them.

Two thirds of their work takes place in the school and is usually mobility though occasionally ILS. One third of the work is contract work for London Boroughs (at present: K&C, H&F, Westminster and Wandsworth). The team is sometimes asked to assess children for different areas and can get involved when mobility is entered on a childs statement. Also do environmental audits on buildings.

Linden Lodge does often contact SS dept. to do work with children during the holidays. Joyce thinks special schools impede childrens local social integration.

Joyce suggested that assessments could include:

Initial / background information, medical history, previous mobility training, others involved in care. Peri teachers can be useful sources of information.

Observation sessions at different times of the day and different activities, roughly compare with other childrens progress, see in own home and school, see what they do, when and how they get around

Formal assessment process

Separate functional vision assessment to find out what the child can actually see and what they do with it.

Think about:

Interaction use play activities to cover the work you want to do, use activities that interest the child or places they want to go.

Priorities identify what the child can do and prioritise what they cant in terms of safety first.

Other adults identify what staff around could be doing and let them know what and when it is appropriate, work with carers if very young. Get others to reinforce things that you are doing with child.

Communication is it possible to work directly with the child or through an adult? What comm. skills does the child have? Is there a potential for using objects of reference?

Listening skills do they hear you, do they obey i.e. are they actually attending to the information. How much time is the child having to listen actively to follow you / obey commands etc.

Posture / gait what is the child doing now? What range of movements is there? Do they have compensatory skills e.g. putting hands out when falling.

Tactile information what information do they get through their feet? Use feet as well as hands and fingers. Are they tactile defensive and if yes, why? Is it because they are constantly being told not to touch things or because they are being forced to do so?

Spatial knowledge theoretical knowledge and functional use of space can be entirely different e.g. do they understand turning right and searching on the right? Or the difference between back and behind?

Orientation the child can travel from a-b and b-c but can they do a-c? A 5 year-old could not be expected to know this.

Age appropriateness - you would expect a 5 year-old to hold your hand near a busy road, but not a teenager. Can do long cane training when it is useful and the child is curious, but wouldnt expect a 5year-old to travel to shops alone. Important to use age appropriate likes / dislikes.

Tips / hints / general observations

1 Young children starting to walk have a very wide base i.e. feet wide apart, for safety.

2 When using new textures use one they are familiar with and like before and after introducing a new one.

3 Body protection in young children try getting them to put one hand over the other in front of them until old enough to learn proper technique.

4 Linden Lodge uses the Texas TAPS teaching manuals. These are available from:

J.A.G. enterprises, Brookfield, Swilland, Ipswich.
Tel and fax: 01473 785452

Code Title Cost

59425OMP TAPS O&M curriculum, comes
with a checklist 47

59426)ME TAPS Assessment & evaluation 8

Also recommended:

59431PHP Paraprofessionals handbook 30

5 Make sure commands are clear e.g. tapping a table could mean come to the table or watch out theres a table in the way.

6 Dealing with over-protective parents.
Respect familys beliefs as to when children are safe.
Trying videoing your session and replaying to parents, with child in attendance, to demonstrate childs skills.
Make a wish-list with the child of things it wants to do and when.
Discuss with the child to see if it knows what skills are needed to do some of these wishes.
Discuss the wishes with parents to see if there are some they will allow.

7 Bullying.
Use school policy as support. Joyce has done some empowerment role play with the child and training with other classmates. Make sure you know whether the child wants to be involved in training classmates or whether they would prefer to be out of the way.

8 Teenagers.
Can be a special problem. They will refuse mobility training and then suddenly have unreal expectations and want to travel miles, alone.

2 Ros Davies RNIB Childrens Centre

Launched by the RNIB in December 2002. Bridge House Trust has funded the equipment. Jane Kogee from RNIB Northwood works in the centre on a Monday. Appointments are needed if anyone wishes to visit.

The centre runs courses for LSAs, also used for parents meetings, music days, IT sessions. Art & craft days are planned. Lots of information available.

Centre is open 10am- 3.30pm during term time. For an appointment contact Emma OBrien 020 7391 2304 or email


1 Deafblind services.

A quick poll was taken of the group to see how many boroughs have specialist Deafblind workers. Bexley, Greenwich, Lewisham, Herts and Wandsworth all do. Many specialists are based in VITs, though in Lewisham they are based in the Deaf Team.

Herts do mainly social things so have not reduced the workload of the RWs.
Greenwich looks at communication and RWs still do mobility.

Some Deafblind clients are now insisting on being assessed by a specialist worker ie someone who has the CACDP stage 1 Deafblind qualification. Courses are available from Deafblind UK.

Section 7 information includes waiting times for assessment.

2 Social Care Association.

Recent conference. Cost 130 + accommodation and including a years membership to SCA. Cost was felt to be reasonable.

About 200 people attended. Appeared to be about 50% RWs.

General feeling was positive. Conference workshops were good. The theme seemed to be whether RWs were care managers or therapists. General consensus was that RWs were therapists, with potentially a role in Health, rather than Social, Services.
There was a session on the registration of workers ie that people should be registered with the qualification that they had at the time of registration and not have to catch up with the latest qualification.

The profession needs to tell SCA what it wants e.g. a post qualifying award. It is hoped that Nick Johnson will come to talk to the group again.

3 Meetings

Stuart again suggested a full day meeting once a year with workshops in the morning and a meeting in the afternoon.
This had also been broached with the managers group; however, no one wanted to organise it. It was also suggested that boroughs might have to pay for the day. It was generally thought to be a good idea.

Suggestions for workshops: Deafblind, Children, Low Vision, Access Technology & computers (check website for information) and Lighting.

4 Jobs.

Camden likely to be advertising soon
Lewisham VIT manager to be advertised
Hammersmith & Fulham possibly 2 workers needed

Check the New Beacon and Wednesdays Guardian for more information.

5 Thanks

George Marr in Camden is attending for the last time today. Stuart explained how George had been instrumental in revitalising the group when it fell apart some years ago and wished to thank George and wish him well in his new post.

6 Date of the next meeting.

17th October 2003 2pm at RNIB.

Water Cooler

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