Support Available - Vision Impairment

Some children and young people will require specialist interventions for them to access learning and information. For other children and young people, whose needs can be met through appropriate strategies and reasonable adjustments at home and in the classroom, we provide information, advice training and guidance to families and school staff.

We work closely with a range of colleagues in schools and in Health and Social Care Trusts.

Support We Provide                                                                                

In Early Years we:

  • provide advice and guidance to families to help them to understand their child’s vision impairment;
  • work in partnership with parents to support early development and learning through play based activities;
  • provide advice and support on teaching of tactile, pre-braille and Braille skills and early literacy experiences;
  • provide advice on appropriate toys, sensory materials and books;
  • provide support visits, advice and training to preschool settings and schools; and
  • support transitions into preschools settings and school.

For school age learners we:

  • provide advice for schools on the implications of the vision impairment and strategies to promote access to the curriculum and inclusion;
  • provide training to school staff on vision impairment;
  • provide support with a focus on developing areas such as language, communication, literacy, social and emotional development and independence;
  • support learners to develop specialist skills e.g. Braille;
  • assess the need for specialist equipment and/or assistive technology which can improve access to the curriculum or the environment and delivering training in its use;
  • assess the learner’s functional vision;
  • provide advice about examinations and access arrangements;
  • carry out audits of the school environment;
  • promote independent learning and learning to access; and
  • support transition within and between educational settings.

Referrals to the Service

Referrals to the Service come from health professionals, who provide essential information about the nature and the degree of the vision impairment. This ensures that we have the necessary medical information to help us make decisions around support.

In some circumstances, we accept referrals from parents, schools and other agencies as long as relevant medical reports regarding the vision impairment and parental contact details are provided.  

Referrals can be emailed to the Sensory Service mailbox at: [email protected] 

Training

We also provide training and information to school staff. This includes:

  • Vision Impairment Awareness Training
  • Supporting the Inclusion of Children & Young People with Vision Impairment (Sencos & Teacher).
  • Supporting the Inclusion of Children & Young People with Vision Impairment and Role of Classroom Assistant (Classroom Assistants).
  • Bespoke Training to Schools – this focuses on the needs of individual children and young people with vision impairment
  • Cerebral Vision Impairment (CVI) Awareness of CVI and Support Strategies

If you would like further information on the training available or to speak to someone about your training needs contact the Sensory Service on Tel: 028 2566 1258 or email:  [email protected] 

Regional Vision Resource Base

The Regional Vision Resource Base (RVRB) provides adapted texts for children and young people with a vision impairment in large print or as PDFs for access on students’ devices.

For more information, please contact your specialist teacher (QTVI) or contact RVRB directly on Tel: 028 2566 1258 or email: [email protected] 

Last updated: 09/08/2021