Vision Impairment

The Specialist Teaching and Preschool Service provides specialist educational advice and support by qualified Teachers for Vision Impairment (QTVI) for children and young people with vision impairment and their families from the point of diagnosis. The role of the QTVI is specified in the RNIB factsheet (February 2014).

A day in the life of a Qualified Teacher (Vision Impairments) – supporting a braillist in secondary school

VI teacher during a home visit, supporting a young girl with aniridia

For babies and preschool children we offer support both in the home and in preschool settings.

The qualified Teacher for vision impairment:

  • offers advice, support, training and consultancy to primary schools, secondary schools, school sixth forms and special schools
  • assesses needs, including advice for statutory assessments of education, health and care needs, and the use of specialist ICT for children and young people with vision impairment
  • supports the direct teaching of specialist skills, including specialist habilitation and Braille
  • contributes to access audits of educational settings, so that education providers can make appropriate reasonable adjustments for pupils with vision impairment as required by their duties under the Equality Act 2010.

The service operates in line with the Quality Standards in Education Support for children and young people with Vision Impairment.

The service uses the NatSIP eligibility criteria to guide decision-making over support allocation for individual children and young people with vision impairments (VI) through systematic consideration of a wide range of relevant factors.

Useful information

Families who have a child supported by a Specialist Teacher (Vision Impairment) can contact us via one of the following mailboxes:

MID (Braintree, Chelmsford and Maldon)

NORTH EAST (Colchester and Tendring)

SOUTH (Basildon, Brentwood, Canvey, Castlepoint & Rochford)

WEST (Epping, Harlow, Uttlesford)

Lead Specialist Teacher (Vision Impairment): Kay Leeser

Who the service provides for

Our service provides for children or young people who have a medical diagnosis of visual impairment by an orthoptist, ophthalmologist or paediatrician. This includes children who are registered as severely sight impaired or sight impaired, children whose eye condition is deteriorating, children not eligible for sight impairment registration but who have a recognised eye condition which cannot be corrected by glasses and children who experience erratic eye movements or have a reduced level of sight with an associated condition. The service supports children from birth to the end of their schooling.

Hours of operation

Term time only

How the service is accessed

A medical diagnosis of vision impairment is needed to access our service. Families should ask their eye doctor or paediatrician to refer via secure mail to:

Operational locations

  • Essex


County Hall
Market Road