The work of SBHI is invaluable to our service users and education is integral to developing independence in all facets of life, from the awareness of parents expecting a child with SB/H, early intervention, early school years, second level education, third level education, post school learning, and into adulthood with an ethos of life-long learning. To achieve this the Education Development Co-ordinator aims to ensure that, on a national basis, all SBHI staff, Branches, and service users are catered for in terms of education and training.
Our action goals involve providing essential information, support, and advice to service users. The Education Development Co-ordinator is continually working on the development and distribution of information and educational resources for staff, volunteers, and service users.
In order to realise a socially inclusive and equal society for our service users we aim to assist Branch members in their capacity to hold education/information sessions in the community. We also aim to resource staff to present to stakeholders, students attending relevant courses (e.g. social care, nursing, teaching), schools, health-care providers and professionals. By providing information on the impact of the conditions to the relevant stakeholders (e.g. government depts.), we aim to significantly improve services and accessibility to such services for people living with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus.
Educational and awareness supports for schools and colleges is a huge part of the work undertaken by the Education Development Coordinator. Work to date has involved visiting various institutions to discuss the implications of SB/H on health, teaching and learning. This gives educational providers the opportunity to upskill on the educational needs of children and young people with Spina Bifida and/or Hydrocephalus and to create the best environment in which our members can learn.
The Education Development Co-ordinator also recognises the need for additional information for SNAs on Catheterisation. We work very closely with relevant experienced professionals who help to facilitate information sessions on Catheterisation in Schools for SNAs.
The Education Development Coordinator liaises with the Peer Support committee to further develop the Peer Support programme for members. The Peer Support programme is a volunteer led support programme offering free and confidential support to members. The Education Development Coordinator helps with the coordination of peer support sessions within the SHINE programme and regionally, and in the development of training opportunities for Peer Supporters.
The Education Development Coordinator works in conjunction with the Respite and Recreation team in developing the independence training week as part of the SHINE programme. Examples of the training offered are money management/budgeting, healthy eating and meal planning and personal care and hygiene all of which promote independent living.
The work of the Education Development Co-ordinator is in keeping with the goals of SBHI which are to ‘foster an environment in which every person affected by Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus can lead a fulfilled life’. It is only through education that the extent to which this fulfilment is possible can be recognised and achieved successfully.
Contact: Sean O'Doherty Education and Training Manager e: [email protected] t: 087 379 2051