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Sensory and physical support service for children and young people with visual impairments

We work with children, young people and their families offering information and support where visual difficulties may impede learning or development.

Criteria for involvement

The acceptance of a referral to the team is based on the following criteria:

  • children and young people with visual difficulties that range from minor impairments to total blindness - a child whose vision is corrected to normal by wearing glasses is not visually impaired
  • all referrals must be in the age range 0 to 16 years or up to 19 if the young person attends a school post-16 provision

Most of the children supported by the service do not have a Statement but those with the greatest need may to undergo assessment.

What we do

We will assess children and young people with a visual impairment.

We will then offer advice on teaching strategies and the management of the needs of the pupil and their access to the curriculum. This will involve advice on the use of certain equipment and materials as well as direct teaching of specific skills such as typing, the use of magnifiers, Braille and mobility.

The service will also monitor the needs and progress of, and provision for, the pupil.

Staff will provide training on issues concerning the education of children and young people with a visual impairment and give advice on any assessment, teaching assistant provision and equipment necessary.

The service regards itself as part of the team surrounding each child or young person it supports, and values the involvement and expertise of parents, carers and colleagues from other agencies. It actively contributes towards individual education plans, action planning meetings and statutory reviews.


A referral may be made by any person involved with the child or young person providing they have obtained parental permission.

It is helpful if as much information about the difficulties the child is encountering with his or her sight is included. If possible please check with the school nurse before making a referral as they will be able to check previous school eye test examination results and arrange a simple vision assessment if required.

Contact details

Donna Carter, head of service, email

Claire Cotton - principal advisory teacher, tel: 07816 103135 or 01629 532488 (term time only)

Alfreton office

Sensory and physical support service - visual impairment
SEN Support Services
Grange Street
DE55 7JA

Tel: 01629 532391

Chesterfield office

Sensory and physical support service - visual impairment
SEN Support Services Centre
School Road
S41 8LJ

Tel: 01629 537686