Supported by Vision UK
The professional body for Vision Rehabilitation Workers, the Rehabilitation Workers Professional Network (RWPN), has established a professional register which requires all members to undertake a programme of continuing professional development to ensure that they are up to date with all aspects of professional practice.
Safeguarding blind and partially sighted service users
All professional Vision Rehabilitation Workers who are members of the Professional Network have appropriate professional qualifications that enable them to offer the specialist service people need after losing their sight. These skills help people to navigate the built environment, use public transport, maintain a safe and habitable home and retain the ability to prepare and cook food. All these activities can be risky for people with visual impairment, and professional Vision Rehabilitation Workers are essential to enable people to cope with activities that could otherwise put them in danger and allow people with sight loss to live the lives they choose.
This new framework of qualification and continued development is vital, not least because most vision rehabilitation work is undertaken on a one-to-one basis, and in a setting which is similar to other professionals such as Social Workers and Occupational Therapists where poor assessment and poor service delivery could create the potential for harm or neglect.
This initiative is endorsed by the Association of Directors of Adult Social services (ADASS); Visionary (the representative body for local Vision Impaired Charities and organisations; and Vision UK (the independent partnership organisation which works with national and regional organisations in the eye health and sight loss sector). They welcome this move that will ensure the high professional standards and scrutiny that a well-regulated register brings.
ADASS expects that employers of Vision Rehabilitation Workers will understand the benefits of employing this specialist service and understand its inherent risks. ADASS endorses this register as best practice in ensuring its members workforce is fit for purpose in safeguarding the public.
ADASS position statement
The RWPN has defined the professional role of a Vision Rehabilitation Worker and the CPD Scheme for Vision Rehabilitation Workers in consultation with Vision Rehabilitation Workers and employers. Read more