External visual impairment support

Educational settings should not attempt to assess visual impairments themselves. If there are concerns regarding a child or young person’s vision then the family need to talk to their GP/optician/ophthalmologist.

For children or young people with a diagnosed sensory impairment, educational settings, parent carers and hospital-based health professionals can make a referral to the Sensory Support Team. This referral must include medical information from a hospital-based health professional, before the referral can be processed.

A visit from an Advisory Teacher from the Sensory Support Team will offer personalised advice on appropriate strategies, adaptations and interventions if appropriate. A visit may include:

  • Classroom observation, management advice and training for key staff
  • Environmental assessments
  • Parental support on issues related to visual impairment
  • Informal functional vision assessment of child or young person.

A qualified Advisory Teacher of Visual Impairment can offer advice and support to families and educational settings regarding a child or young person’s visual impairment and strategies to support access to the curriculum and the level of support will largely depend upon levels of distance and near vision acuity.

The school or setting may also benefit from advice and support from a Rehabilitation and Mobility Officer with regard to assessing and improving learning environments for visually impaired children or young people. It may also include orientation around environments, development of mobility, self-help and independence skills.

For further support:

The Blatchington Court Trust – setting young blind and partially sighted people throughout Sussex on the path to live their best life.

Look Sussex support families across East and West Sussex who have a child who is blind or visually impaired.