Settings, schools, colleges and visual impairment
In Leicester City the Vision Support team works with settings, schools and colleges to ensure that your child fully accesses school life and that their visual needs are met within an inclusive learning environment.
The team consists of qualified teachers of visual impairment and multi-sensory impairment. All have experience of working with children and young people, 0-25, in both mainstream and special schools. It also includes a touch-typing tutor and technicians who modify print resources for your child’s use in school. There is also a qualified Habilitation Officer who provides mobility and independent life skills instruction.
The team will become involved with children and young people following a referral and initial visit to ensure that they met the criteria for support by the team. The team visits children and young people in their class and advises their teachers on what needs to be in place for them to be happy and to access learning. The team also trains members of staff in Leicester settings and holds training events throughout the year. Where necessary, the team directly teach children and young people, with a severe sight impairment, specialist skills.
Here are some of the areas that you can expect your child's setting to support:
- Schools will provide the opportunities for your child to talk about their visual needs
- They will support peer awareness training sessions run by the Vision Support team so that your child’s class understand more about your child’s eye condition
- The Vision Support team holds activity days for pupils throughout the year. We have regular Junior Vision Ambassador Council meetings that schools support during school time
- You will be welcomed into school and listened to. Medical information will be kept confidential
- Schools will encourage you to attend appointments with the optician or hospital and ask about the outcome of these meetings.
- You will be signposted to appropriate support agencies if necessary.
Whole school policies and procedures
- School will be aware of their duty under the Equality Act 2010
- Special Educational Needs and Disability training will be in place for Governors and teaching staff to ensure that they are up-to-date with Government legislation and initiatives
- An Environment Audit will be undertaken by the team. This will ensure that the building is safe for your child
- They will have a procedure for contact lens wearers agreed with yourself and Leicester Royal Infirmary
- All staff, either permanent or visiting, will ensure that your child is fully included in all aspects of school life
- They support training for staff as recommended by the Vision Support team.
- An adapted curriculum, so that it meets your child’s intellectual and visual needs
- Fully support the additional curriculum necessary for a child with a visual impairment. This could include: touch typing, independent living skills, IT training, braille, mobility and social skill development depending upon your child’s needs
- Offer a wide range of multi-sensory tasks and teaching styles so that your child does not only need to use their vision when learning
- Ensure that sufficient time is allocated for any necessary pre-teaching, revision of skills, or completion of task
- Schools will provide the support for alternative ways of recording work. This may include the use of technology for access and communication
- Visual fatigue rest breaks
- Support your child’s inclusion with extra-curricular activities such as after school clubs and activities
Interventions and resources
The Vision Support team will provide detailed information on how your child uses their vision and what your child needs to access learning. This is called Educational Advice. A local Leicester school will implementation a pupil’s Vision Support Educational Advice written by a qualified teacher of Visual or Multi-Sensory Impairment.
Below is a list of possible areas that may be included in Educational Advice:
- Recommended technology that will help your child access learning: a laptop/ iPad/tablet/E-readers/scanner.
- Specialist necessary software e.g. screen sharing/magnification.
- How and what your child is able to see
- What special arrangements need to be in place for your child when sitting exams.
- How to adapt texts and diagrams for your child so that your child can see their work
- Specialist consumables that are needed for your child e.g. specialist paper, matt laminates, black fibre tipped pens/ dark leaded pencils.
- How to best utilise additional support staff working directly with your child
- How the classroom must be organised for your child’s access, safety and learning
- Appropriate seating position in the classroom
- Whether adjustable lighting is necessary
- Provide a shaded outdoor play area
- Information on how to keep your child safe
- Support the wearing of glasses or sun protection
- Work with the Vision Support team to ensure that your child is included socially in school life
- Inform staff on the requirements for off-site visits
- The Local Authority will directly supply specialist equipment for braillists - non-print users.