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Visual Impairment Service - Inclusion and Specialist Support Team

Hackney Learning Trust,
1 Reading Lane,
E8 1GQ
Telephone: 020 8820 7620


Who we are... 

The Visual Impairment Service including Multi-Sensory Impairment (MSI)/Deafblindness is part of the Inclusion and Specialist Support Team at Hackney Learning Trust.

The team consists of:

  • Two Qualified Teachers for Visual Impairment (QTVI)
  • One Qualified Teacher for Visual Impairment and Multi-Sensory Impairment (QTVI/MSI)
  • A Habilitation/Mobility Specialist
  • A Specialist Portage Worker for Sensory Impairment

What we do...

Members of the Visual Impairment Service advise and support parents/carers and children at home from diagnosis and continue to monitor children’s progress when they enter early years settings and throughout school.

They contribute to transition plans at important stages in the children’s education including advice on transition to further education.

The role of the team can include:

  • supporting families at home after diagnosis
  • advising on toys, play and resources
  • giving information on school placements - mainstream schools, resource bases in mainstream schools, specialist schools
  • liaising with medical professionals
  • advising schools and settings on how to include visually impaired children
  • supporting children and young people in their learning
  • monitoring placements
  • contributing to planning and reviews, including reports

Visually Impaired Service - Pre-School Drop-in sessions information and dates

Children and Young People with Multi-Sensory Impairment (MSI)/Deafblindness

This is the service to children and young people with MSI/Deafblindness and sits within the Visual Impairment Service, one of whose teachers is a qualified MSI teacher.

They offer:

  • Assessment of the child’s needs as a deafblind/MSI learner
  • Advice to schools on including deafblind/MSI children and their specialist curriculum requirements
  • Support for intervenors in school settings
  • Environmental assessments for deafblind/MSI learners
  • Support and advice to families in communicating with their child and supporting their child’s development
  • In service training to teachers and professionals providing services to deafblind/MSI children and young people.
  • Contribution to planning and reviews, including reports
  • Deafblind Guidance Assessments as part of an overall social care assessment

Elective Home Education (EHE) Visual Impairment (VI) Team guidance Oct 2019

If a parent/carer elects (decides) to educate their child at home, they take on responsibility for their child’s education. If this is a choice you are making it is advisable to register for EHE once the child reaches compulsory school age - the term after their 5th birthday. Full details of this process are described in: Hackney Learning Trust’s Elective Home Education (EHE) Policy

The VI  team will monitor the home provision with a termly or annual visit, depending on the nature and extent of sensory impairment

If the child has an EHC Plan, a personal budget can be requested from the EHC Planning Team. A timetable of education activities, with the costs, must be provided. This will be considered by the EHCP Panel or the EHCP Management Team who make the final decision whether to agree the personal budget or not.

If the education/provision delivered is not considered to be suitable, attendance procedures will be applied.

Record Last Updated on: 27/02/2020

Other Details

Referral Details

Referrals accepted from any source for children and young people aged 0 – 19 years.

The service works closely with other professionals working with visually impaired children. 

Support to families to explore a range of options for their children’s development and education. Advice and support offered to both families and education settings.

What to do if you have a complaint

If you have any feedback about the service you received – something you like or are not happy with; then do talk about it with the worker or manager in the service, so that they can look at how they deliver their service.

If you have a situation that you are still not happy about then you can raise it formally as part of the London Borough of Hackney complaints procedure; click here for more information.

How to Get Here

Buses: 30, 38, 55, 106, 236, 242, 253, 276, 277, D6, 388,

Train: London Fields, Hackney Central, Hackney Downs

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Disclaimer-important information about the Hackney Local Offer

Hackney's Local Offer website is a free and impartial service provided by the London Borough of Hackney in partnership with the NHS, local education, health and community services. The information contained within the website is available for the purposes of identifying services and provision that may be available to children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

This information does not represent a recommendation or an endorsement of a Service or Provider and neither does the London Borough of Hackney or its partners make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy of the information. Anyone seeking to use or access a service or provision is responsible for undertaking their own checks to determine the suitability and fitness for purpose of that service and provision. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including, without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damages whatsoever arising from use or loss of use of data or profits arising out of or in connection with the use of the Hackney Local Offer.

Some providers will be registered and inspected by external agencies, such as Ofsted or the Care Quality Commission. Anyone working with children and young people will be required to have appropriate Disclosure and Barring Service Check (the replacement for the Criminal Record Check), safeguarding policies and insurance in place, which they should make available to you on request.

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