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Vision and Hearing Team

The Vision and Hearing Team is part of the Portsmouth Inclusion service. It is comprised of Specialist Teacher Advisers, Communicators, and a trained Qualified Habilitation Specialist (VI) and a Higher Level Teaching Assistant (VI). We work with Children and Young People with Hearing Impairment, Visual Impairment or Multi-Sensory Impairment from 0 – 25 years of age,  at home, in pre-school settings, schools and colleges.

Who can access the service?

We support hearing and visually impaired children and young people from birth up to the age of 25. Young people over 16 need to be in in full time college education or an approved apprenticeship. For hearing impairment there must be a diagnosis (referrals usually come from Audiologists). Any child or young person with a diagnosed or suspected visual impairment can be referred by anyone, e.g. parent, setting or other professional.

Where the team is based

We are based at the Civic Offices and work with families in the city in postcodes PO1 to PO6. Hampshire or West Sussex Teacher advisers work in the other Portsmouth postcodes. Please see the Hampshire or the West Sussex local offer for more information on their services.

What the organisation provides – types of interventions and support

We are a needs led team that work with our children and young people and their families in the following ways.

  • The level of support offered to each child and family is based on their child’s needs, their stage of development and the knowledge and support that the family have around them.
  • We work from birth, helping the child develop their vision and hearing skills
  • We work alongside medical professionals and other agencies to provide information about the nature of the sensory impairment and how it may affect daily life and
    learning. We offer strategies and advice to assist them.
  • We work in partnership with parents and carers to provide ongoing support throughout the child’s education from early years to college.
  • Providing ongoing advice and support to teaching staff on access to the curriculum, accessibility arrangements, reasonable adjustments, target setting and record keeping.
  • Where appropriate providing direct teaching to children working on specific skills (e.g. Braille, developing listening and language) and delivering programmes to support the pupil’s understanding of their disability and building their self-esteem.
  • We use observation, discussion and functional assessments of the pupil in the setting and write reports and records of contact which can include recommendations for support and interventions.
  • We can deliver specialist training to mainstream and special school/college staff so they understand how best to support the child or young person.
  • Provide training on the use of equipment and maintenance of equipment.
  • Support transition to and between schools and colleges.
  • Our qualified Habilitation Specialist works specifically with children and young people who are blind or have a visual impairment on developing mobility, orientation and
    independent living skills. Work is carried out in homes, learning settings and the community (e,g, public transport) as appropriate. With very young children our Habilitaiton
    Specialist supports children’s early movement and development.

The role of the Qualified Habilitation Specialist

  • A Habilitation Specialist works specifically with children and young people who are blind or have a visual impairment on developing mobility, orientation and independent living skills.
  • Habilitation Specialists carry out a wide range of skilled roles including: transition support/orientation training at new places/settings, mobility skills and training to use mobility aids, independent travel skills, independence with daily living skills, processing Certificates of Visual Impairment (CVI) and issuing yellow registration cards.
  • Habilitation Specialists work in a wide range of ways including in homes, educational settings, in the community and on public transport. Habilitation Specialists can provide training and support during the school holidays as well as term time, and before/after school. Habilitation Specialists work directly with children and families, but also with teachers, SENCOs and other professionals such as Occupational Therapists.
  • Habilitation Specialists support educational settings by providing training in their setting, contributing to EHCP’s/Annual Reviews, providing advice on environmental adaptations and accessibility.

How can this service be accessed?

Direct referrals from professionals, parents and carers. A copy of the referral form can be found here

Quality standards and expected outcomes for children and young people and their families accessing your services

Our aim is to maximise the educational opportunities for every individual child, working in partnership with parents and carers, teachers and colleagues in other agencies. Use of NatSIP review document to monitor and assess service provision is used to develop services. Feedback is always welcomed and we use questionnaires to gather information from parents, schools and the young people themselves.


We have provided links to charities, organisations and websites that can offer further support and additional information on hearing impairment, visual impairment and multi-sensory impairment.

Hearing Impairment

Click here to download a list of useful links to local and national Hearing services. This includes information on Audiology.

Visual Impairment

Click here to download a list of useful links to local and national vision services. This includes information on Ophthalmology.

Multi- Sensory Impairment

SENSE is the UK’s leading organisation for people who are deafblind or have associated disabilities

Deafblind UK is an organisation that supports people who have a sight and hearing loss.

How and who to make a complaint to:

In the first instance, Marie Lloyd, Team Leader of the Vision and Hearing Team.

Email address:

Tel: 023 9268 8612

  • 0-5, 6-16, 17-25,
  • Early Years, Parents and Carers, Young People,
  • Advice and support, Support at home, Support with learning, Travel,
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