Whole School SEND: Supporting students with vision impairment

This resource page has been developed to accompany the Whole School SEND introductory video to vision impairment. Guidance for specialist support for children and young people with vision impairment should be led by a Qualified Teacher of Children and Young People with Vision Impairment (QTVI) and Habilitation officer. You may however find some of the following resources helpful.  

Best practice guidelines

The aim of these guidelines is to provide an introduction to some of the key things you should be aware of when supporting a student with vision impairment in school. The guidelines have been developed for the video as part of a collaborative activity between students, teachers and habilitation specialists in the West Midlands, and cover the role of specialist professionals, getting to know the child, inclusive environment adjustments, inclusive classroom practice and ways of facilitating independence in school. 

View the best practice guidelines 

Key organisations

National Sensory Impairment Partnership (NatSIP) a partnership of organisations working together to improve outcomes for children and young people with sensory impairment.

VIEW: the professional association of vision impairment education workforce the leading voice representing the interests of children and young people with vision impairment, championing best practice and promoting the specialist vision impairment education sector.

Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) one of the UK’s leading sight loss charities and the largest community of blind and partially sighted people.

VICTA supports children and young people who are blind and partially sighted and their families across the UK.

Guide Dogs provides a range of services to people with vision impairment, including specialist education support.

Thomas Pocklington Trust work with partners to identify and meet the needs and aspirations of blind and partially sighted people across the UK.

Royal Society for Blind Children provide a range of services in London and across England and Wales for blind and partially sighted children and young people, their families and professionals who work alongside them.

Positive Eye delivers dedicated courses and about teaching and supporting children and young people with vision impairment.

SeeAbility provides specialist support, accommodation and eye care help for people with learning disabilities, autism and sight loss.

LOOK UK supports young people and families living with a vision impairment. 

Some helpful resources

NatSIP offers a vital resource hub for the sector, including ‘Place to Start’ (https://www.natsip.org.uk/getting-started), and the range of guidance within their website (e.g. guidance for working with teaching assistants effectively), and signposted.

Education professionals – a page of resources devoted to supporting education professionals working with blind and partially sighted learners.

Tough Talks – a guide for talking to a child or young person about this vision impairment.

RNIB – Getting the right support – SEN and inclusion provides an introduction to special needs provision and inclusion into educational settings for children you are blind or partially sighted.

RNIB guidance on the role of the QTVI a short video exploring the role of the QTVI.

An examination access course developed by NatSIP aimed at supporting SENCOs and other education professionals to identify and gain approval for access arrangements for students with sensory impairment.

Bridging the Gap, a resource developed by VICTAR and RNIB to help support young people with vision impairment make post-16 decisions.

Starting University, a resource developed by VICTAR and RNIB to help support young people with vision impairment preparing for Higher Education.

Short courses offered by VIEW, including a short course on understanding vision impairment in children.

SeeAbility mini guide to eye care needs and experiences of children and young people with special educational needs.

Teaching resources developed by Positive Eye, as well as short courses and consultancy

If you an organisation that would like to be included on this page, or have a resource that you would like to be added, please contact Rachel Hewett at r.g.hewett@bham.ac.uk.