At this stage we will invite you to an introductory committee, and an introductory committee is an expert committee. These expert committees convene on average once a month. Payment is free of charge to the committee.
On the day of the committee and just before entering the committee itself, you will be asked to fill out a personal details form that will help us carry out the evaluation. We will explain the forms and help you fill them out.
Entering the committee.
What happens in a committee like this?
The committee is actually an introductory meeting between us and you that is held in a pleasant and friendly atmosphere.
The committee includes the professional director of the ELIA, the relevant branch manager, an experienced vision guide who is also a veteran kindergarten teacher at the ELIA with extensive knowledge and experience with babies and toddlers with blindness or visual impairment, and sometimes, when necessary, other professionals. These are the same experts who will accompany you and the child's care throughout the period in which the child will visit the rehabilitation dormitories and the Elia Gardens.
The purpose of the meeting is to get to know the child and you, to examine the child and to examine whether the ELA is the framework that best suits him.
We'll test the child in terms of vision, hearing, movement and cognition. Sometimes, if necessary, additional tests will be conducted.
The child's examination is conducted, among other things, in a darkroom in order to get as clear a picture as possible of his visual functioning status.
It's important to understand, this isn't a test. We just want to evaluate the child's abilities in order to try and understand what is the best way to help him.
For example, a baby may be showing a delay in relation to his peers regarding crawling. There are times when the delay is due to visual impairment. Since the child does not see, or does not see well enough, there is nothing that makes him want and crawl in order to reach the object or person (it is found that a voice is not sufficient stimulation for this).
The experts will explain the findings and their recommendation.
For example, whether the child is suitable for a daycare center specializing in the field of vision, whether the child is currently suitable for a group of babies and parents, whether the situation currently looks ok but we recommend coming to another committee in a period of time to make sure that there is no change in the situation, whether the child is suitable for a normal framework but at the same time we will recommend visual guidance at home
The experts will also forward their recommendation to the welfare authorities – to the Regional Supervisory Office.
The introduction committee is about three-quarters of an hour long.