Habilitation or Mobility and Independent Living Skills

Priestley Smith School is also home to the Education Habilitation Service, which offers mobility and independence skills to visually impaired children and young people across the city.  Habilitation was previously known as  Mobility and Independent Living Skills,  but has changed to reflect the new specialist qualifications and curricula in Habilitation.  All Habilitation Staff within the Service are Habilitation VIUK Registered Qualified Practitioners (RQHS).Pupils have access in school to individual mobility lessons and independent living skills, as well as the possibility of group Life Skills lessons and extracurricular activities. There is a specially designed mobility teaching room, with high contrast units and a wide range of specialist equipment for teaching independent living skills.

What is Mobility?

Mobility is the skill to move through the environment independently. Training enhances this ability by teaching special skills and strategies to help children cope. Each child is individually assessed and identified needs are met through one to one mobility lessons to help them become safe independent travellers, both indoors and out. Great emphasis is placed on safety and work appropriate to the age and ability of each individual child. Pupils will be assessed in school and also in the surrounding area. Mobility sessions will normally take place at school, but Mobility Officers work throughout the year including school holidays, when home visits can be arranged. Parents are encouraged to be involved so they can support their child and will be provided with regular reports on their progress.


Topics covered will vary depending on age and ability, but may include:

  • Body awareness – understanding body parts and how the body moves
  • Listening skills – how to listen and what to listen for
  • Orientation – knowing where you are and how to get to where you want to be
  • Maximising vision – making the most of residual vision and using appropriate low vision aids
  • Basic personal safety – keeping safe and seeking help
  • Road safety – including special strategies and techniques to improve safety
  • Social and life skills – dealing with others, shopping, money and using the telephone
  • Independent travel – may range from 5 metres to 50 kilometres depending on the individual. It may include learning cane skills before proceeding to specific routes which may be round school, or between home and school, or home and work experience or college placement.

What is Habilitation or  independent living skills?

The Habilitation Service aims to prepare pupils for safe independent living in the future. By the time pupils leave school, the majority should at least be able to make a simple snack and drink for themselves. Independent living skills may be one to one lessons or students may take part in small group sessions. Some pupils may be entered for  ASDAN  qualifications.

Topics covered will vary depending on age and ability, but may include:Independent living skills

  • Social and emotional development asking for assistance, including contacting the Emergency Services, social conventions, manners, confidence and motivation
  • Independent living skills (ILS) e.g. kitchen skills, including Snack Attack, a progressive course in basic food preparation, eating, personal hygiene, money handling, dressing.




Extra Curricular Activities

The Education Habilitation Service also offers a range of out of hours activities at Priestley Smith School, which are open to visually impaired pupils across the city. This includes a one week Summer Activity Scheme for primary aged pupils, an after school Sportsability club for pupils aged 10 plus, Stop for Tea sessions and Summer Lunch clubs that run by arrangement.

Further information

Theere are also a range of leaflets to help support mobility and independence skills at home and at school. If you would like copies of leaflets, any more information on any of the above activities, or specific information regarding your child’s mobility or independence, please contact the Habilitation Team using the details below. Application forms for Summer Activity Schemes, Sports Club and Lunch Clubs will be circulated at the appropriate time to those who have expressed an interest. You can download a leaflet telling you more about Habilitation here  Education Habilitation Service updated mar17After school club


Further Contact Details

Senior Habilitation Specialist: Mrs F A Broadley RQHS
Education Habilitation  Service
Priestley Smith School
Beeches Road
Birmingham B42 2PY
email: mobility@priestley.bham.sch.uk
facsimile: 0121-325 3910
Telephone 0121 325 3904