Specialist Teacher Advisory Service for visual impairment

The Specialist Teacher Advisory Service for children with a visual impairment consists of:

  • experienced teachers with a mandatory qualification in teaching children and young people with visual impairment
  • paediatric rehabilitation officers for the visually impaired (mobility and independence instructors)
Criteria for involvement of the Specialist Teacher Advisory Service

The criteria for involvement from our service are:

  • a diagnosed visual impairment
  • reduced visual acuity and/or restricted field of vision and/or deteriorating condition

Children or young people with a visual impairment may be referred by:

  • health professionals
  • parents
  • special educational needs coordinators (SENCos) at the educational setting
Who the Specialist Teacher Adviser for visual impairment works with

The Specialist Teacher Adviser may work closely with:

  • consultant ophthalmologists
  • orthoptists
  • ophthalmic opticians (optometrist)
  • paediatricians
  • health visitors
  • general practitioners
  • paediatric occupational therapists
  • portage workers
  • pre-school support workers from the Early Support Programme
  • voluntary organisations
Support for pre-school children

For pre-school children the Specialist Teacher Adviser can provide:

  • partnership working with parents
  • home visits
  • visits to pre-school settings
  • assessments
  • advice to settings staff and local authority officers
  • training for all those involved with the child
  • signposting to other agencies and contacts
  • advice on target setting for the child
  • written reports where appropriate
  • multi agency working with a team around the child
Support for school-age children and young people

Once the child or young person with an identified visual impairment is at school the Specialist Teacher Adviser can provide support by:

  • advising on modifications of learning materials and access to the curriculum
  • making recommendations on adaptations to the environment as appropriate
  • providing staff training
  • contributing to statutory assessment and annual reviews
  • provision of specialist visual impairment equipment where appropriate
  • advising on special arrangements for examinations
  • providing direct teaching to Braille users and training school staff to be able to meet the needs of braille users
  • contributing to target setting

Hampshire has 3 schools with a resourced provision for visual impairment. These are:

  • Secondary - Toynbee Secondary School, Chandler's Ford
  • Primary - Great Binfields Primary School, Basingstoke
  • Primary - Kings Copse Primary School, Hedge End

Please contact the school directly for further information.

Support for young people up to the age of 25

The Specialist Teacher Adviser will continue to support young people up to the age of 25 (if they are still in further education) by:

  • providing staff training
  • meeting with students and staff on a regular basis at the Post 16 Provision
The role of the Paediatric Rehabilitation Officer for the Visually Impaired (PROVI)

The role of the Paediatric Rehabilitation Officer for the Visually Impaired (PROVI) is to:

  • assess areas of need in the development of independence, mobility and daily living skills
  • plan and implement individual mobility programmes for pre-school, primary, junior, secondary pupils and college students up to the age of 18 years. Training may be delivered in both the home and school environments
  • provide appropriate mobility aids and equipment where necessary
  • provide daily living skills training to develop age appropriate independence
  • provide support and advice to parents
  • provide training and advice for all those involved with the child/young person
  • liaise with teachers, teaching assistants, carers and other professionals in health and the voluntary sector
  • contribute written reports for reviews and EHC Plans as necessary
  • process the certificate of visual impairment and issue a yellow card

Referral to the PROVI is made by the relevant teacher adviser, visual impairment (VI)

Further information


Guide dogs - children and young people's services (formerly Blind Children UK)

Action for Blind People

Partially Sighted Society - Email london@partsight.org.uk