Children's Services

Visual Impairment

The Specialist Teacher Advisory Service for children with a visual impairment consists of:

  • experienced teachers with a mandatory qualification in teaching children and young people with visual impairment
  • paediatric rehabilitation officers for the visually impaired (mobility and independence instructors)

The criteria for involvement from our service are:

  • a diagnosed visual impairment
  • reduced visual acuity and/or restricted field of vision and/or deteriorating condition

Children or young people with a visual impairment may be referred by:

  • health professionals
  • parents
  • special educational needs coordinators (SENCos) at the educational setting

The Specialist Teacher Adviser may work closely with:

  • consultant ophthalmologists
  • orthoptists
  • ophthalmic opticians (optometrist)
  • paediatricians
  • health visitors
  • general practitioners
  • paediatric occupational therapists
  • portage workers
  • pre-school support workers from the Early Support Programme
  • voluntary organisations.

For pre-school children the Specialist Teacher Adviser can provide:

  • partnership working with parents
  • home visits
  • visits to pre-school settings
  • assessments
  • advice to settings staff and local authority officers
  • training for all those involved with the child
  • signposting to other agencies and contacts
  • advice on target setting for the child
  • written reports where appropriate
  • multi agency working with a team around the child.

Once the child or young person with an identified visual impairment is at school the Specialist Teacher Adviser can provide support by:

  • advising on modifications of learning materials and access to the curriculum
  • making recommendations on adaptations to the environment as appropriate
  • providing staff training
  • contributing to statutory assessment and annual reviews
  • provision of specialist visual impairment equipment where appropriate
  • advising on special arrangements for examinations
  • providing direct teaching to Braille users and training school staff to be able to meet the needs of braille users
  • contributing to target setting.

The Specialist Teacher Adviser will continue to support young people up to the age of 25 (if they are still in further education) by:

  • providing staff training
  • meeting with students and staff on a regular basis at the Post 16 Provision

The role of the Paediatric Rehabilitation Officer for the Visually Impaired (PROVI) is to:

  • assess areas of need in the development of independence, mobility and daily living skills
  • plan and implement individual mobility programmes for pre-school, primary, junior, secondary pupils and college students up to the age of 18 years. Training may be delivered in both the home and school environments.
  • provide appropriate mobility aids and equipment where necessary
  • provide daily living skills training to develop age appropriate independence
  • provide support and advice to parents
  • provide training and advice for all those involved with the child/young person
  • liaise with teachers, teaching assistants, carers and other professionals in health and the voluntary sector
  • contribute written reports for reviews and EHC Plans as necessary
  • process the certificate of visual impairment and issue a yellow card.
(Referral to the PROVI is made by the relevant teacher adviser, VI)

Useful links


National Blind Children's Society

Action for Blind People

Hampshire has 3 schools with a resourced provision for visual impairment. These are:

Secondary - Toynbee Secondary School

Primary - Great Binfields Primary School, Basingstoke and Kings Copse Primary School, Hedge End

Please contact the school directly for further information.

Partially Sighted Society

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