Assessments by the Visual Impairment team

We regularly assess the functional vision of your child. This means how they manage day to day life and how their visual impairment affects their life and learning.

We can only assess children who have been referred to us by NHS ophthalmology (Eye Hospital).

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What happens at an assessment

We will observe the child playing or learning and talk to parents, carers and those who work with the child.

Assessments are very informal in the early stages. We play games and activities with the child to stimulate their vision and assess the impact on the child due to their vision loss. We can even use their own toys as part of the assessment. We use brightly coloured objects for babies, and when the child is older we use black and white pictures.

When the child is of school age and old enough to read letters, they are tested with letters using various print sizes.

Checking colour discrimination
Black and white area
Learning early tactile skills in the home
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Where the assessment takes place

If your child is under 5 the first visit and following assessments will take place in the home.

If the child is at school the assessment will be arranged to take place at school. You are welcome to attend the appointment and meet with our teacher adviser.

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Who will assess your child

Your child will be assessed by one of our teachers called a Specialist Teacher Adviser for Visual Impairment or STAVI for short. Your child will be supported by a STAVI for their school life.

If your child has severe or profound visual impairment, we may refer you to a member of our team called a Qualified Habilitation Specialist. They will assess the mobility and independence needs of your child.

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When the assessment will happen

We will assess your child's vision at least every year.

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Sharing your assessment information

After assessing the child, if they meet our criteria for involvement, a new referral report is written and shared with you and other professionals who may work with your child. We usually do this after one visit but if the child is very young we may make several visits to the family before writing a report.

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Next steps

After an initial assessment, we will support your child based on their level of need. This could be about their ability to function in their daily life or access the curriculum at school.