Services for children and young people in Northamptonshire (aged 0-25) with special educational needs and disabilities.

Sensory Impairment Service (SIS), Visual Impairment - NCC


Type of service:
Local Government Department
Northamptonshire County Council, One Angel Square, Angel Street, Northampton, Northamptonshire NN1 1ED
Telephone number:
01604 368500
Service description:
Where a child has or may have a significant visual impairment, the Sensory Impairment Service will provide support to the school or early years setting, directly to the pupils, and to the pupils family.

Support for schools and early years settings

• Within five working days from a referral, a Qualified Teacher of the Visually Impaired (QTVI) will arrange an appointment to visit the school or early years setting to carry out an assessment of the child in regard to their visual ability
• They will provide advice to schools or early years settings in respect of differentiation of academic work, equipment and physical environment within the school or early years setting within six weeks of the initial request (not including school holidays)

Where required, they will:
• Attend review meetings as required
• Provide training to staff regarding individual needs and how these can be met
• Provide tutorials through a QTVI to all children where the Visual Impairment Service, in liaison with the school or early years setting, identifies these as necessary
• Provide exam support
• Provide initial advice and training to staff employed by the school or early years setting
• Teach Braille to pupils
• Provide Braille resources
• Provide some large print resources and offer training to schools in the preparation of large print resources
• Provide advice and support from the Mobility Officer
• Provide and maintain equipment as appropriate

Support for parents

• Assess pre-school pupils for visual impairment in the family home or the early years setting
• Advice parents in regards to visual impairment
• Connect parents t peer support groups and activities
• Loan books or other appropriate educational media
• Offer Braille teaching
• Provide training for the use of specialist IT software or hardware

Support for children and young people

• Provide tutorials through a QTVI to all children and young people where the Visual Impairment Service, in liaison with the school or early years setting identifies these as necessary
• Provide mobility and orientation training
• Teach visual impairment specific skills, e.g. Braille and touch typing

Additional Support

• Little Dandelions - a gardening club for children with a visual impairment. It takes place at Manor Farm, Mears Ashby on a Tuesday afternoon in the school holidays. Contact 01604 368500 for further information
• Twinkle Time - a sensory music session for children with visual impairment age three years and under. Contact 01604 368500 for further information

This team is part of the larger SEND Specialist Support Services.

Referral is via the Specialist Support Services (SSSS)

Age range:
0 - 19 years
Eligibility criteria:
  • Age - Early Years (0-5)
  • Age - School (5-18)
  • Age - Adulthood (18-25)
  • SEND descriptors
Referral route:
  • Contact service direct
  • No referral needed
Last updated on:
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