More than 5,000 people benefit from expanded Sight Loss MOT project
In January 2020, Thomas Pocklington Trust awarded Devon in Sight a grant of £24,160 for it to roll out its Sight Loss MOT framework to other sight loss organisations.
About the Sight Loss MOT
The Sight Loss MOT, developed by Devon in Sight in 2016 thanks to a grant from The National Lottery Community Fund, is based on national research and best practice and provides a practitioner’s toolkit for delivery. It is an assessment, action planning and outcome framework which helps to ensure that people who are blind or partially sighted can access the information and support they need.
Used methodically to assess the needs of people with sight loss, to provide a consistent, holistic, person-centred review of the individual’s needs, it focuses on eight areas:
1. Understanding your eye condition
2. Making the best use of your sight
3. Having someone to talk to
4. Your health and wellbeing
5. Managing at home
6. Getting out and about
7. Your finances and planning for the future
8. Work, learning and having your say
The framework allows Devon in Sight’s Sight Loss Advisers to record the degree of support clients need on initial assessment and to create a support plan. After three months the client can be reassessed and progress evaluated, with unmet needs fed back into a revised action plan. The Sight Loss MOT is then completed with a final qualitative review. Crucially, the data from both stages of the Sight Loss MOT can be input into reporting tools, allowing Devon in Sight, and other organisations that use the tool, to accurately record and track outcomes from their work.
Expanding the project
Funding from Thomas Pocklington Trust allowed the charity to expand the implementation of the framework to other sight loss organisations across the country. It allowed Julian Garner, Business Development Manager at Devon in Sight, to devote his time to the further development of the framework, particularly for Children and Young People, and to focus on facilitating training with other organisations. It also gave the framework a national profile. Julian said: “The funding from Thomas Pocklington Trust endorsed the Sight Loss MOT and enhanced its credibility within the sector.”
Regional training events began in early 2020, but the onset of the pandemic in March meant Devon in Sight had to pivot to provide training online instead of in-person. The charity was still able to coach 16 other organisations on how to use the Sight Loss MOT and incorporate this into their day-to-day services and work.
In turn, these organisations have since used the MOT framework to support more than 5,000 people across the country.
The benefits of the Sight Loss MOT
Running through the framework of the Sight Loss MOT allows for much more detailed conversations between service users and service providers. Julian explained: “Someone may call up asking for a magnifier, and you never get under the surface of where the caller is with their sight loss. The questions in the MOT provide an opportunity for a broader, more in depth conversation. It allows the wider impact of sight loss on a person’s life to be explored, and crucially, touches on what could be provided by the whole sight loss sector – rather than just one charity.”
The framework has been continually assessed as part of its ongoing development, but its core has stayed mostly the same since 2016. This underlines the strength of the work and research done by the Devon in Sight team during the initial planning and creation stages. Importantly, the framework is flexible, and this is part of the reason why it is so adaptable to local contexts.
Feedback on the Sight Loss MOT
The Sight Loss MOT provides an off the shelf solution for sight loss organisations. It is easily incorporated into Customer Relationship Management systems, meaning that charities trained to use the framework are now much better able to demonstrate the impact of their work and measure organisational successes. This then places the organisations in a better position to apply for funding and grants. As well as the impact the Sight Loss MOT has on helping beneficiaries, it can also provide a useful tool for instigating cultural change within organisations and for training staff.
Julian and Devon in Sight are keen to develop specific versions of the Sight Loss MOT that cater to different groups such as the transition of late teens and early 20s into adult services, working aged people, those transitioning into retirement, and for veterans living with sight loss.
Devon in Sight has worked with Devon based children’s charity, Moorvision to tailor the framework to address the needs of children and young people with vision impairment. This framework was launched at the Visionary conference in November 2021 and will be used to help children, young people and their families access the information and support they need. The two charities received the national ‘Transformation Award’ at the conference to recognise the contribution they have made to the development of services for blind and partially sighted people.
Having piloted it with some families in Devon, one parent said :“The MOT booklet highlights that one of the biggest challenges of supporting a visually impaired child is not knowing what you don’t know. Thanks to this MOT, my daughter will have more support than she did previously”.
Another said: “Engaging with the process of the MOT has provided me with the reassurance of confirming what I have done and highlighting what else I need to do. The checklist then goes onto explain terminology and services in a compassionate tone making it an accessible read and engaging.”
Devon in Sight and Moorvision are keen for other sight loss organisations to use this free resource. People can contact Devon in Sight for information on the material and support on implementation.
For more information on Devon in Sight and the Sight Loss MOT visit: https://devoninsight.org.uk/supporting-you/sight-loss-mot
About Devon in Sight
Established in 1925, Devon in Sight is the trading name for the Devon County Association for the Blind. Devon in Sight is the county’s leading sight loss charity providing free practical help and advice to people who are blind or partially sighted.
The picture shows John Smith who completed the Sight Loss MOT process with one of Devon in Sight’s support workers. The photo was taken when John was doing Skills for Seeing training.
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