What we do
The Service for Sensory Impairment aims to provide flexible support to children and their families/carers from the earliest days of diagnosis through to leaving school, enabling each child to achieve their full potential.
How we work
We work closely with parents through the early years, visiting babies and toddlers at home after a sensory impairment has been diagnosed. When pupils enter school we continue to visit according to need and advise staff on appropriate strategies and resources, including
- home visits with parents/carers
- specialist monitoring and assessment for children 0-3
- direct work with babies, children and young people
- alongside other agencies e.g. Portage Service
- with schools to promote inclusion
How referrals are made to the service
Most children are referred to the service through the Audiology or Ophthalmology departments of local hospitals.
Many children are identified by Special Educational Need Co-ordinators at school and some parents contact the service directly.
We welcome opportunities to work jointly with children involved with other Services eg; Portage.
Who is eligible
Children with a diagnosed hearing or vision impairment who live or go to school in the London Borough of Sutton.
How we support schools (some of the below can only be provided with additional charges)
- information and general advice on hearing and visual impairment
- specific advice on individual pupils
- training for staff
- sensory awareness training for pupils
- functional hearing and vision assessments of individual pupils
- additional equipment for pupils to use in the classroom to support inclusion
- advice for IEPs and target setting
- advice on acoustics and controlling sound levels in the classroom
- advice on mobility and making spaces sight-friendly
- examination concessions advice
- lipspeakers for SATs and GCSEs
- targeted interventions for individual pupils
- support for transitions
- ELSA sessions to improve self esteem
How we support children and young people
- getting pupils' views on their sensory needs
- Advising on appropriate additional equipment
- individual short term 1 on 1 sessions to meet identified goals
- encouraging optimum use of hearing and vision aids
- encouraging independence and positive self-esteem
- 1 to 1 support in identified areas
- feeding back pupils’ views to schools and clinics
How we support parents
- when a child is first diagnosed, a specialist teacher visits and works with the family at home
- a Deaf Instructor, who is a deaf adult who helps parents with communication skills
- baby and toddler groups help parents meet each other
- British Sign Language training courses for Sutton parents of deaf children
- help with DLA claims
- support for Ophthalmology/Audiology appointments
- advice on activities and resources
- working in partnership through the early years using specialist monitoring tools
How the service is funded
The service is currently available to all (primary/secondary/special) schools who pay into the DSG additional time and services can be bought in. There is no direct cost to parents.
Is habilitation training available in your local area?
Sutton has a rehabilitation officer in social services who we work closely with.
What does habilitation training in your area cover? Does your habilitation service include the teaching of early movement skills, sensory, spatial and body concepts as well as cane training, route learning and independent living skills?
Yes, the QTVI and Practitioner covers early movement skills etc.. Cane training and route learning are also covered by the mobility officer as above.
Who is eligible to access habilitation in your local area? Is your service un-restricted by criteria such as level of sight, type of visual impairment, registration or possession of statement or EHC plan? Is your service available to babies and pre-school children and also to those with complex needs?
QTVI sign posts to habilitation. We meet regularly to discuss case loads and refer any young person needing input.
Who will do habilitation training? Do you employ a qualified Habilitation Specialist - or a Children's Mobility Instructor who is working towards registration as a Habilitation Specialist with MISE, the professional body?
See answer to No1. The Sensory Impaired Service co-ordinator is a QTVI.
When can my child access habilitation training? Is your service available to children and young people in home, school and community settings and during school holidays?
Yes, the service is available during these times
How can families with a child who has a visual impairment access a habilitation assessment? Do children and young people with vision impairment in your area receive habilitation assessments as a matter of course at key stages, such as when transferring between schools or settings?
Families can request this from the Sensory Impaired Service co-ordinator or she may suggest it to them. In schools, she works with the school to look at routes etc.. and also has input when the young person transfers to secondary school.
It is a needs met referral process.
The Sensory Impairment Service will contact school SENCos directly if information is received from health concerning one of their pupils. Contact is made by the school SENCO to the service.
Co-ordinator Miranda Ormesher
To discuss the service contact 020 8770 6620