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ASL - New vision on equipment

Pupils with sight loss are to be given a chance to try out the latest classroom aids, thanks to a new loan scheme.

The Technology Education Loan Library (TELL) is being run by the Royal National Institute of Blind People Scotland. The charity has put together a pound;42,000 package of funding to build up a stock of equipment, such as magnifying aids and screen-reading software.

These can be loaned free to any school in Scotland for up to six weeks. The aim is to give blind or partially-sighted pupils and their teachers the opportunity to try out items to discover if they are suitable for their particular needs.

The majority of the estimated 1,500 young people in Scotland with sight loss are now educated in mainstream schools.

"Equipment such as handheld or large desktop magnifiers, and screen- reading software like Zoom text and Supernova, can be expensive to buy, especially if schools are unsure if they are the most appropriate aid for an individual pupil," explained Mary Dallas, education and family services manager at RNIB Scotland.

"Our scheme allows schools to borrow such items for long enough to test there usefulness in the classroom and, if the pupil wants, at home."

E: sally.mcgreevy@rnib.org.uk

T: 0131 652 3145.

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