Insight realises that in order to provide its programs to the highest possible number of students, it also has to take them out into the community.
In order to do so, Insight has developed the first ever Mobile Classroom Program for the blind and vision impaired in Australia: InsightOut. InsightOut is unique. It provides all of Insight’s programs “on wheels”, allowing Insight to reach the least serviced regions where specialised programs and assistance are hard to access.
Insight has secured funding for the purchase and fit-out of three Mobile Classrooms (MC1, MC2 and MC3): purpose-designed vehicles, thermally and acoustically, carrying all appropriate teaching resources to operate as full classrooms. They contain individual working stations, are able to accommodate up to 8 students, one trained teacher for the vision impaired and one aide, and are equipped with accessible technology and tactile/Braille or large print materials, in order to cater to the specific requirements of blind and vision impaired students. Programs are provided on a regular basis in the areas of most need (e.g. 5 days once a month or one day each week, per location, on a rotating basis). Insight is a vital component of the mainstream education system; a complement, not a substitute.
Students enrolled in InsightOut programs attend classes within normal school hours on a number of agreed days throughout the school year, as negotiated with each student’s mainstream school, parents and any professionals involved. When a number of students in a particular region enrol in the program, one school will “host” the Mobile Classroom. Each student enrolled in InsightOut will have a documented program, negotiated collaboratively between the mainstream school, parents and Insight, with regular written reports on progress and achievement of outcomes. Staff and parent workshops on topics related to vision impairment can be conducted in the Mobile Classroom at agreed times and venues.
InsightOut is largely self-sufficient and can be parked in a car park or other suitable location within the school grounds, with access to a power point and amenities. The InsightOut vehicle design, fit-out and equipping, was kindly funded by Variety – The Children’s Charity, Rotary Club of Glen Waverley, Joe White Bequest, The Pierce Armstrong Foundation and The Collie Foundation managed by Equity Trustees.