About the ROVIC Service

ROVIC provides habilitation (initial acquisition of skills) and rehabilitation (re-establishing skills), as well as support and liaison eye services within the ophthalmic paediatric eye clinics in hospitals across Devon. This includes providing advice, information, assessment, guidance and skills training on approaches and practice to encourage, motivate and support an individual’s development in the presence of visual impairment / deafblindness / multi sensory impairment (MSI) and/or coexisting needs.

Alongside habilitation and rehabilitation provision, we provide specialist and holistic assessments for children and young people (0-18 years) who have a combination of sensory impairments causing a multi-sensory impairment, in accordance with deafblind guidance legislation.

The ROVIC service assessment aims to ensure that appropriate services are recommended and provided to children and young people agreed as having a deafblind or other multi sensory impairment, and who are not necessarily able to benefit from mainstream services, or services aimed primarily at blind people or deaf people who are able to rely on their other senses.

How can we help?

ROVICs assess the functional visual responses and behaviours of infants, children and young people. We encourage and monitor the developing functional abilities in relation to movement and independence, determining whether a visual difficulty is likely to impede access to or achievement of:

  • Inclusion, self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Age appropriate independence and social interactions
  • Skillful, relaxed and safe orientation and mobility
  • Access and navigation within and around home, community and educational settings

Our assessments are child-centred, and offer practical advice, information and personalised training.

ROVICs promote understanding, confidence and independence of each individual’s visual and non-visual abilities so that they can:

  • Develop, progress and use vision to their fullest functional potential
  • Access and achieve orientation, mobility, navigation and movement
  • Be included and participate in interpersonal, organisational and daily living activities
  • Communicate and interact

We can also provide information relating to:

  • Care and support for deafblind children and young people as per the deafblind guidance
  • Benefits and concessions specific to visual impairment and registration status
  • Local and national resources, services, and provision available to children or young people who are visually or multi-sensory impaired
  • Advice and information for parents and carers
  • Awareness and training related to visual or multi-sensory impairment
  • Environmental audits relating to design, modifications and accessibility to settings and/or environments
  • Certification and registration of visual impairment

ROVICs have a statutory responsibility to maintain a registration/record database in relation to children and young people who are in receipt of a Certificate of Visual Impairment as part of our specialist assessment programme. The ROVIC service assessments aim to ensure that appropriate resources are recommended, and provided to children and young people presenting with visual impairment and or additional need.

What happens next?

We aim to respond to all requests for service within 14 days of receipt, including where this is a request for Certification of Visual Impairment. Once a child/young person is accepted onto our waiting list, we try and see all children/young people within 6 weeks of the request.

The service undertakes various types of assessment to include functional ability, orientation and mobility, independence, safety and accessibility, as well as environmental audits of home, community and educational sites. Assessments can be undertaken in any setting/environment that the child/young person is accessing, including at home, their local community, and other health and educational settings.

The outcome of the assessments will be a series of recommendations/provision and/or organisation of individualised training programs, designed to develop use of functional vision, perhaps along with strategies and techniques to overcome or accommodate visual/sensory limitations. The assessment of their needs will also produce a report on advice, information and functional ability which can inform the development of a personalised skills development programme plan.

Within educational settings the ROVIC service provide individual assessments, lead orientation, mobility and independence programmes, and also offer staff awareness training for those working with the individual on a regular basis.

Locations

Our service operates across the whole of Devon and ROVICs conduct assessments at home and schools across the whole county.

ROVICs additionally support paediatric ophthalmic eye clinics at hospitals across:

  • Exeter
  • Torbay
  • Newton Abbot
  • Barnstaple

We also provide support to eye clinics based at local Special Schools.