Sharing expertise

Henshaws Specialist College offers bespoke training for businesses and professionals working in a number of different settings including care and education. Earlier this month Guide Dogs for the Blind again called on the resources of Specialist Rehabilitation Officers from our Therapy, Educational and Sensory Support (TESS) services, who not only have in-depth knowledge of Visual Impairment (VI) but also expertise on the needs of wheelchair users.

An increasing number of Guide Dog applicants are essential wheelchair users and Guide Dogs wanted to increase their own staff’s knowledge of how to work successfully with them, covering issues such as developing the coordination to hold the guide dog’s harness and respond to feedback whilst also travelling safely in a wheelchair.

Almost four years ago, Guide Dogs staff undertook our specialist wheelchair training course to give them the skills and understanding to effectively support this under-represented group.  These introductory training courses proved so successful that it led to the development of a bespoke five day residential programme.

A person in a wheelchair being pushed up a transport ramp into a taxi as part of a mobility training programme

"Henshaws is a stand-out organisation with an open approach to sharing information and expertise, a desire to work together and learn from others and strive to improve and develop. What we have learnt from this programme has enabled our staff to have a direct impact on people’s lives and has been life-changing for some of those Guide Dogs supports.”

Lee Stanway, Additional Needs Manager, Guide Dogs

The training focuses on practical skills to give staff the chance to put themselves in the position of their service users. As well as covering the basics, such as how to drive electric wheelchairs and how to go up and down kerbs safely, it also aims to develop strategies to help staff to enable the VI people they support to safely access their local community.

Attendees were also given the opportunity to experience using both manual and powered wheelchairs to access transport with the help of local companies Transdev buses and Blueline taxis.

A lady in a powered wheelchair boarding a bus via a ramp, looked on by the lady bus driver

Find out more about our professional development courses, including disability awareness, dual sensory impairment and wheelchair mobility training please visit

We also share our knowledge and expertise online through our Knowledge Village. Here you can explore our video library and learn about everything from apps and technology to our useful Life Hacks. You’ll also find eBooks with detailed advice on living with disability.

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