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Improving our Services - Educating our Staff - Upgrading our School
Start date: 01 Jun 2016, End date: 31 May 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

St Barnabas School for the Blind offers a wide range of educational services and support for people with Visual Impairments (VI) of all ages in Cyprus.The decision to design this project derived from the evaluation of our Organisation’s needs according to our newly formed two-year development plan. This plan addresses the key issues of: further training of the staff in several areas, further development of specific subjects, development of vocational programmes, further cooperation with authorities in Cyprus regarding the accessibility of people with VI.This project consists of activities in the form of “job shadowing” through the cooperation with our chosen partners. The site visits, the personal meetings with professionals and the chance to observe their work, methods, equipment and facilities will provide an invaluable tool and empirical knowledge for the enrichment of our practices. Specifically, this project aims to bring new knowledge in the priority areas of: management, education of pupils with VI in mainstream settings, IT and Orientation and Mobility. The activities that are planned to be carried out through this project are:Activity 1: This activity is related to management issues and decision making. The participant is the Acting Head of St Barnabas. She has 18 years of experience in the field and has worked with children and adults with VI, children with VI in mainstream settings as well as people with Deafblindness. The partner is ROYAL DUTCH VISIO in the Netherlands. Activity 2: This activity concerns education of children with VI with emphasis on integration models, assessment of children with VI and models of vocational training. The participant is a Deputy Headteacher. He has 17 years of experience in the field and has worked extensively with children with VI who attend mainstream schools . He has also a lot of experience in assessing children with VI and working with adults with VI. The partner is ChildVision in Dublin, Ireland. Activity 3: This activity is focusing on Primary Education of children with VI. Areas of special interest are the integration of children with VI in mainstream settings, new approaches in the teaching of Braille to young children, adaptation of material and Early Intervention. The participant is a teacher with 20 years of experience in the field. She has worked extensively with young children with VI, and the teaching of Braille and showed special interest in the areas of tactile adaptations and other material. The partner is Bartimeus, in Zeist, Netherlands. Activity 4: This Activity is focusing on the area of IT and Technology for people of all ages with VI. The person who is going to be involved is currently one of the IT teachers, responsible for the Department of IT and Technology. She has a long experience (20 years) of working in the field of VI. The partner is ANS in Milan, Italy. Activity 5: This Activity is focusing on the area of Orientation and Mobility for younger ages. The person who is going to be involved is one of St Barnabas' Orientation and Mobility Instructors. She has been working at St Barnabas for 8 years, teaching people with VI of all ages. The partner is C.E.R.B. in Thessaloniki, Greece. The project partners were chosen through networks of professionals in the field of VI (ICEVI, EBU, ENVITER) that have a long tradition and expertise in the specific areas that interest us. The Organisations involved have already been contacted and the planning of the activities is in process. The planning and the visits of the participants will be monitored by both our School and the partner organisations. Participants are expected to gain important knowledge and experience related to their field of work and professional interests. They will come in contact with policies, methods and tools used in other European countries in the field of education and services for people with VI. This procedure will enrich the participants' professional skills and knowledge, and provide them with motivation towards further development. This, will have subsequent impact to our School's educational practices and the services we provide, thus benefiting our students of all ages. In addition we expect that through this project our presence and contribution in European networks will be strengthened and developed further.The ISESUS project is part of St Barnabas effort to Improve, Educate and Upgrade its Staff, the Services offered and the School as a whole. The destination for St Barnabas is clear: to become a modern multi dimensional centre that will provide to people with VI high quality education, training and programmes that will enrich their professional and personal lives, their educational opportunities, their well-being and will promote social equality and inclusion at all levels.We believe that this project will be a valuable instrument towards this destination.
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