A Visual Impairment (VI) is an impairment of sight, which cannot be fully corrected, and is likely to have an impact on the CYP’s development and means of access to learning. VI refers to medical conditions that result in reduced vision through to blindness and can be temporary or permanent, occurring from birth or at any time. Patching or monocular vision is not deemed a visual impairment.
The VI is significant when:
- written learning materials need to be adapted or inclusive technology is essential to access the curriculum.
- independent travel and the immediate environment need active monitoring.
- incidental learning does not occur, needs direct teaching and additional pre-teaching or revision of skills is necessary.
- the CYP is unable to read facial or body cues
- access to social situations/groupings without a facilitator is difficult for the CYP.
Multi-sensory impairment (MSI) refers to combined visual and hearing impairments which cause difficulties with communication, access to information and mobility. A CYP with a VI or MSI may have difficulties with:
- accessing learning at the same pace as peers.
- linking different areas of learning and generalising learning to everyday experience.
- physical tiredness.
- making and maintaining friendships.
- managing their equipment and physical safety.
- reading and writing skills.
- general self-confidence and self-advocacy.
VI/MSI can significantly impact attainment due to difficulties of accessing learning. However, with the right support, attainment should be age appropriate.
Quality first Teaching
- Class/subject teachers to take responsibility for acting upon personalised educational advice supplied by VI/MSI Qualified Teacher around individual CYP’s needs.
- A procedure for contact lens wearer, patched pupil and implementing the wearing of glasses.
- All staff and supply staff, visiting speakers, sport, drama groups etc. are informed of CYP’s VI/MSI visual and auditory needs at the planning stage of activities.
- Support for inclusion with extra-curricular activities, modified homework resources and newsletters.
- A range of multi-sensory tasks, teaching styles and support for the alternative ways of recording work.
- Provision of recommended generic specialist assistive technology such as: iPad/ tablet/ laptop/ eReader/ scanner and specialist software. e.g., screen sharing packages and magnification.
- Clear classroom routines supported by cues, e.g., objects of reference, signs, symbols, gestures, signing to support language, photographs, visual timetables.
- Careful consideration of accessibility of learning materials in terms of readability, density of text, size and choice of font, layout, overlays, coloured paper, appropriate use of illustrations, clutter free diagrams, all modified resources onto A4 paper only.
- Provision of consumables, e.g., specialist paper, matt laminates. Appropriate black fibre tipped pens/ dark leaded pencils, exemption from learning a cursive script. Use of a sloping desk or board.
- Teacher verbalising work on the board, recorded in black ink, plain font style on a white uncluttered background.
- Seating at close proximity to interactive white board/learning facilitator/ point of learning.
- Adaptation of teaching and learning environment to take account of sources of light and sound, glare and reverberation, visual and auditory clutter and contrast, as well as the subtleties of the tactile environment.
- Clear and tidy classroom with good organisation and labelling of resources.
- Visual fatigue rest breaks built into the school day and a shaded outdoor area as appropriate.
up to 5 hours individual teaching/13 hours teaching assistant support per week (or a mix of the two as appropriate) and/or the provision of equipment that is not normally available for:
- Consideration of timetabling and location of rooms for those with sensory needs and appropriate work station for 1:1 instruction.
- Sufficient curriculum time allocated for the pre-teaching/revision of skills, completion of task, and teaching the additional curriculum e.g., touch typing, lip reading, independent living skills, mobility, social skills
- Planning shared with Vision Support team to enable resources to be obtained/ modified in time for the lesson, differentiation both in quantity and level of work, delivery method through ICT, sign, lip reading, modified worksheets, practical activities.
- Range of support offered to school through training, planned group work, in class and 1:1 support ranging from annual, termly, weekly and multiple weekly visits.
- A child or young person with MSI requiring a trained Intervenor.
- Baselines and subsequent progress accurately monitored and provision regularly reviewed and adjusted in line with progress over a sustained period (i.e., at least 2 terms)