Visual Impairment Team

On 1 January 2014, HAST were delighted to add the Visual Impairment Service to the services that the Trust is running on behalf of Central Bedfordshire Council.

The VI team consists of two Specialist Teachers for Visual Impairment, three Specialist Teaching Assistants and a Resource Officer, all of whom have completed Braille training.

The team supports visually impaired children from 0-19 who live in Central Bedfordshire and/or attend Central Bedfordshire schools, and who meet the South East Region Special Educational Needs (SERSEN) criteria for visual impairment.  Referral to the team is usually via Opthalmologists/Orthoptists or the Health Service, although parents/carers can make a referral themselves via the completion of a referral form available from the VI team.

The team is able to provide the following support:

support for babies and young children at home, supporting the child and their family;

support in pre-school settings, including discussing with the setting the support the child may need and providing awareness training for staff;

support for statutory assessment, by requesting and/or contributing to the process of obtaining a statement of special educational needs through the Central Beds Assessment and Monitoring Team

support for school age pupils, carrying out assessment and making recommendations to the school to enable the pupil to visually access the curriculum and school environment.  They may train the Teaching Assistants appointed by the school to work with the pupil, including Braille if necessary and training in the use of specialist equipment;

support in special schools for Multi Disabled and Visually Impaired (MDVI) pupils, who have more complex needs, ensuring that the schools maintain the necessary in-house skills and training to support these pupils.

The team is based at Enterprise House, Wrest Park, Silsoe, Beds, MK45 4HR, and can be contacted on 01525 306943.

The service is led by Mrs Elizabeth Ciampi, Commissioned Services Manager for HAST, who can be contacted on 01525 306945.

Click here for a leaflet about the support provided to pre-school children and their parents.

Click here for a leaflet about the support provided for pupils with a Multi-sensory or Multi-disabled visual impairment.  

Click here for a  leaflet about the support provided for pupils with a visual impairment.