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Council Services:

Visual Impairments

About the Service

The Visual Impairment Team supports pre-school children at home and in Early Years settings, monitoring and promoting the development of functional vision by providing on-going advice to parents on appropriate toys, equipment and strategies to use to simulate vision or to develop tactile (touch) abilities. The Visual Impairment Team can also advise and support Early Years staff so that they can provide a stimulating environment and appropriate activities for the child.

The Visual Impairment Team supports primary and secondary school children, planning for the child’s transition into the school setting with parents and teacher. This may involve advising the school, about safety and any modifications that need to be made to premises and providing extra opportunities for the child to become familiar with the school environment, as well as advice about modifications to enable the child to access the curriculum.

Referral guide and eligibility criteria

Children and Young People can be referred to the Sensory Education and Support Service’s Visual Impairment Team; by Parents, Health Professionals, Early Years settings and schools. An initial assessment from a Health professional and parental consent will be required prior to referring a child to the Service.

Referrals made to the Sensory Education and Support Service are screened by a Senior Teacher. Children and young people with permanent sensory impairments who are likely to require advice and/or support from a Teacher for Visually Impaired Children are visited and assessed and a decision is then made as to whether they will be taken onto caseload. Those with a mild visual impairment or with conditions such as a squint or monocular vision will be sent advice sheets.

Services and Provision

The Visual Impairment Team offers continuing support to children, parent/carers, families and professionals working with children who have a visual impairments, including;

  • Carrying out functional vision tests and interpreting and explaining the results to parents, the special educational needs coordinator, class teacher and other professionals
  • Liaising with and advising staff about classroom management, alterations to text/materials and curriculum access
  • Providing teaching programmes for Braille, touch typing and use of magnification and screen reading software to meet individual children’s needs
  • Supporting and advising any support staff working with the child
  • Providing mobility training, including long cane, for children with severe sight impairment
  • Providing ongoing assessments, reports and advice for schools and parents
  • Attending reviews and all associated meetings
  • Providing visual impairment awareness training for peer groups in school
  • Advising on any necessary specialist equipment and demonstrating its best and safe use to enable the child full and equal access to the curriculum
  • Providing training courses on school premises, or at named venues, for teachers, assistants, special needs coordinators, headteachers etc.
  • Liaising with other Local Authority Agencies and also with voluntary organisation

Short Breaks Services Statement

Future developments in the Short Break services for children and young people who are disabled and/or sensory impaired and their parent/carers.

Download it here

Short Breaks

Information for families of children with a disability and/or sensory impairment.


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Last updated: 9 May 2016

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