The RNIB West Midlands Social Inclusion Project bid to the Department for Education and Skills was founded on the premise that:
- Children with a visual impairment need ongoing social and emotional support in order to maximise their life chances and to facilitate their emotional well-being and adjustment to life with a disability
- Professionals working within the field of visual impairment need to both develop and disseminate good practice in relation to the support of children and young people's social and emotional needs
- The families of the children and young people may have significant emotional and social needs in relation to issues around the child's visual impairment.
RNIB's Senior Education Officer's view, shared by others in the field was that although significant strides had been made in terms of accessing the curriculum during the last twenty years, issues around emotional support and social inclusion had not received the same level of commitment or development. The Social Inclusion Project provided an opportunity to explore those issues and to implement and evaluate a range of intervention strategies to support social and emotional development.