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Vision and Hearing Team

The Vision and Hearing Team is part of the Portsmouth Inclusion service. It comprises Specialist Teacher Advisers, Communicators, and a trained Qualified Habilitation Specialist for Visually Impaired pupils. 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.

Where the team is based

We are based at the Civic Office 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 provide ongoing support throughout the child’s education from starting school through to college.
  • We work in partnership with parents and carers to provide support and teaching for pre-school children and young people with a sensory impairment. This includes providing information about nature of the impairment and how it may affect daily life and school. We work closely with families offering advice and support through the early years of their child’s development.
  • 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. For example, awareness training, use of equipment, on strategies to support the teaching and inclusion of Children and Young People with sensory impairment  in their setting.
  • We work closely with Health, Social Care and other professionals such as Portage and Educational Psychology to support families and teachers to ensure that we are working together to support the needs of the child.

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.

Who can access the service?

  • Any child/young person 0-25 who has a diagnosed hearing/visual impairment.
  • Any child/young person suspected of having a hearing loss/visual impairment and identified by nursery, school, college or parent/carer.

How can this service be accessed?

Direct referrals from professionals, parents and carers. A copy of our referral form is 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.

Resources

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 Hearing 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  https://www.sense.org.uk/

Deafblind UK is an organisation that supports people who have a sight and hearing loss. https://deafblind.org.uk/

 

How and who to make a complaint to:

In the first instance, Amanda Richards, Team Leader of the Vision and Hearing Team

Email address: amanda.richards@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Tel: 023 9268 8612

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