Children's Services

Visual Impairment

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

  • teachers with a mandatory qualification
  • support teachers
  • paediatric rehabilitation officers for the visually impaired (mobility and independence instructors)

Useful links to other organisations

Long cane training

The criteria for involvement from our service are:

  • a diagnosed eye condition, reduced visual acuity and/or reduced field of vision.

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

  • health professionals
  • parents
  • school special educational needs coordinators (SENCos)

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, local children’s centres and 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
  • provision of equipment where appropriate
  • coffee mornings for children and parents
  • signposting to other agencies and contacts
  • advice on individual education plan (IEP) target setting and 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
  • advising on special arrangements for examinations
  • providing direct teaching to Braille users
  • contributing to target setting.

As the child prepares for transition to post 16 provision the Specialist Teacher Adviser can offer support by:

  • providing staff training
  • advising on equipment.

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. PROVI involvement is particularly relevant at times of transition
  • 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 statements as necessary.

Useful links


National Blind Children's Society

Useful contacts

Partially Sighted Society

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