Rehabilitation worker - visual impairment
Health & Care
A rehabilitation worker (visual impairment) helps people with sight loss to navigate this sighted world.
A rehabilitation worker (visual impairment) works with people who have experienced some loss of sight in order that they are able to lead as full a life as is possible. Many people experience loss of sight when they are over 65 but children and young adults may be affected also. Children with sensory deprivation may need extra support to ensure they fulfil their academic and social potential.
Duties vary according to the client group, but typical duties may include:
- Carrying out a detailed assessment of the visually impaired person's circumstances and needs, both physical and emotional, in work, at home and at leisure.
- Producing an action plan in agreement with the service user.
- Helping to carry out the actions agreed.
- Suggesting adjustments to the workplace to enable the service user to continue in employment.
- Helping the service user to travel safely by the use of white sticks or guide dogs.
- Giving information on helpful aids, such as tools that magnify images or cups that tell you when they are full.
- Giving information on financial assistance.
- Discussing the pros and cons of registering blind.
- Keeping records.
- Liaising with other professionals.
Personal Qualities and Skills
Key skills for rehabilitation workers
A rehabilitation worker should:
- Be able to communicate with all kinds of people.
- Have patience for teaching skills to people with a range of abilities.
- Be able to stay calm and motivate clients who get frustrated or disheartened.
- Have a resourceful approach to solving problems.
- Be comfortable using a computer.
- Be able to produce written reports.
- Be able to work independently without direct support.
- Respect confidentiality and anti-discrimination policies.
- May need to have knowledge of Braille and Moon.
Pay And Opportunities
Typical employers of rehabilitation workers
- Local authorities;
- National and regional charities, such as RNIB, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Blind Veterans.
Qualifications and training provided
Birmingham City College offers a FdSC in Rehabilitation (Visual Impairment), which can be topped up to a BSc (Hons) Specialist Complex Needs Rehabilitation Work (Visual Impairment) or BSc (Hons) Habilitation Work – Working with Children and Young People.
No specific academic qualifications are set out for entry to this course, but applicants are expected to have the potential to complete the course. Most applicants for Foundation degrees under the age of 21 have 5 GCSEs A*-C/9-4 including English plus 1-2 A levels or equivalent. Work experience, voluntary or paid, in this area is recommended for all applicants.
It may be helpful to speak or write Welsh if you wish to work in Wales.
If you are interested in working in this area, you are advised to contact the college for further information.