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Service for Children and Young People with Vision and Multi-Sensory Impairments | Community Directory

Service for Children and Young People with Vision and Multi-Sensory Impairments

The Service for Children and Young People with Vision and Multi-Sensory Impairments offer support to young people, who have a diagnosed visual, or multi-sensory impairment, in education, up to the age of 25. 

We are part of the Sensory and Physical (S&P) Service within the Specialist Education Service.

Our Specialist Teachers provide assessment, and advice for curriculum and technology access, and the teaching of Braille.  Our Sensory Support Practitioners provide additional one-to-one input with children and young people.

We also provide training on awareness of types of sight loss, practical ways to support visual access, and how to adapt learning environments to increase independence.  Our training sessions are available to families, schools, other Suffolk County Council agencies and to voluntary groups.

What we offer

Pre-school children

We support children aged 0-3 and their families and we hold an informal drop-in group for pre-school visually impaired children and their families, providing play activities and an opportunities for parents to meet our team, and each other.

Schools and Colleges

We provide specialist assessment and advice to children and young people attending all schools and colleges, including specialist provisions – Suffolk schools, Academies and Free Schools.  For Independent schools we have a Traded Offer, following an initial consultation for which there is no fee. 

You can read our Making Classrooms Accessible for Pupils with Sight Loss guide here.

Intervenor Service

Our Intervenor Service provides one-to-one Intervenor support to children and young people who have a combined significant visual and hearing loss (Multisensory Impairment).  Intervenors support sensory and communication access in school settings.  This is a paid for service.

Braille Literacy

We provide Braille tuition and Braille resources for all children and young people learning Braille.  We also offer training and support for school and setting staff learning Braille and provide on-going support for the use of Braille technology for pupils, students, and their educational settings.  We support families in learning and using Braille as well. 

Habilitation - Mobility and Independence

Our Habilitation Specialist provides one-to-one mobility, travel, and independence skills training for children and young people.  We also provide mobility training for school and setting staff.  

Our Habilitation Specialist also carries out visual access environmental audits for schools and setting, to help them be fully accessible for children and young people with visual needs.

ICT Access

We provide specialist visual access technology to children and young people with visual impairments such that they are not able to use the adaptive access features in typical digital devices, e.g. Laptop computers.

We provide one-to-one training and support to children and young people, their families, schools, and settings, in the use of the visual access features found in typical mainstream technology with access features.

Contact and referral details

We accept referrals from education settings or directly from families.

Schools should refer to the Service using the Inclusion Service Referral Form. For a more detailed overview of the Service, please refer to the Service Specification.

If you are a family, then to contact us in the first instance, please email SESSP@suffolk.gov.uk.

Our team comprises:

Service for Vision – Children and Young People

Jonathan Bolt – Head of Service

Jenny Goode – Specialist Teacher

Rachel Lewis – Specialist Teacher

Cathy Tatum – Specialist Teacher

Helen Cain – Sensory Support Practitioner

Lydia Garside – Sensory Support Practitioner

Rachel Harris – Sensory Support Practitioner

Laura Picknell – Sensory Support Practitioner

Emma Tredray – Sensory Support Practitioner

Steve Giddings – Habilitation Specialist (Mobility and Independence)

Service for Multisensory Children and Young People

Jonathan Bolt – Head of Service

Hollie Osborne – Specialist Teacher

Tanya Turner – Lead Intervenor

Kirsty Goodchild - Intervenor

Louise Powell – Intervenor

Hanna Smith – Intervenor

Vicky Songer - Intervenor

Lucy Walsh – Intervenor

Anna Hartley – Sensory Support Practitioner

Steve Giddings – Habilitation Specialist (Mobility and Independence)

Resources for Families

Guide Dogs

Guide Dogs provide a wide range of advice and support for children and young people with sight loss and their families.

Guide Dogs Support Services

Guide Dogs Family Services 

Guide Dogs Education Services 

Look

Look are an independent organisation supporting young visually impaired people and their families, through mentoring, events, youth forums and parent support groups.  Look also link to other charities and organisations who can help you access the support you need. Visit the Look website here.

RNIB

Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) provides a wide range of support and advice for adults, children, and young people with sight loss. Visit the RNIB website here.

Thomas Pocklington Trust

An independent organisation providing support and information for people of all ages who have sight loss – including children and their families. Visit the Thomas Pocklington Trust website here.

VICTA Parent Network

The VICTA Parent Network Facebook group is a space to share experiences, seek encouragement and provide support. Visit the VICTA Facebook group here.

Resources for Education

Making Classrooms Accessible

Making classrooms accessible

Scottish Sensory Centre

The SSC provide support and learning resources for everyone involved in the education of children and young people who have visual impairments or who are Deafblind. Visit the Scottish Sensory Centre website here.

Paths to Literacy

Paths to Literacy is a US based website that has a great deal of useful information and ideas for supporting VI children’s education at home. Visit Paths to Literacy here.

Perkins School for the Blind eLearning

Perkins School for the Blind, Massachusetts, United States of America was founded in 1829.  The website provides information and learning resources for visually impaired and Deafblind children and young people. Visit the Perkins website here.

Positive Eye:

Positive Eye is an independent provider of training and resources designed to support the learning and development of children and young people who have sight loss. Visit the Positive Eye website here.

RNIB Bookshare

If you have a child who has a print disability that affects their reading, RNIB Bookshare can help with access to curriculum and leisure titles in accessible formats at all educational levels. They are making lots of content available for families at home during COVID-19. Click here to find out more about RNIB Bookshare.

VIEW

View are working with other sensory impairment charities to provide support during the Covid-19 crisis. The following page shares links to information on school closures and home learning resources. Viewweb's COVID-19 page.

Resources for Sensory Development

Speech Education and Inclusive Learning have an A-Z of sensory learning activities.

Twinkl also have some free Sensory resources.

Learning and exploring through play have lots of sensory play ideas and activities.

Rainy Day Mum has ideas for fun activities for all ages.

Barefoot Books – activities to download and singalongs.

Resources for Mental Wellbeing

Go Noodle 

Go Noodle provide movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts. Visit the Go Noodle website here.

VIEW 

View are working with other sensory impairment charities to provide support during the Covid-19 crisis, including mental health support. Click here to view their resources

We Do Listen Foundation

Videos, songs, interactive questions and more to help young children be better listeners, learn important life lessons and feel good about themselves. Visit the We Do Listen website here.

Young Minds

Young Minds’ mission is “to make sure all young people can get the mental health support they need, when they need it, no matter what.” Visit the Young Minds website here.

The Youth Intervention Centre

The Youth Intervention Centre is a private service aimed at supporting young people through mental health and emotional difficulties. They work with Moorvision to provide electronic or large print files of resources.

Visit the Youth Intervention Centre website here.

Visit the Moorvision website here.

Resources: Audiobooks and Apps

Audiobooks

The following organisations all allow you to download digital books or audiobooks via a device:

RNIB Bookshare 

National Accessible Library

RNIB library or Overdrive

Libby Library app 

Audible

Large Print Books

The RNIB also have a lending library that you could join which lends books via the post in font size 24. Visit their large print library here.

Accessible apps for iPad

We have also compiled a list of visually accessible apps for iPad, which you can view here.

Multi-Sensory Resources

Support for families, children and young people

The National Sensory Impairment Partnership (NatSIP)

The National Sensory Impairment Partnership work with lots of organisations to provide information and training resources for multi-sensory impairment. Visit the multisensory section of the NatSIP website here

Sense

Sense is a charity based organisation which supports learning and development of deafblind children and young people by providing information, advice and learning opportunities. Visit the Sense website here.

Deafblind UK

Deafblind UK provides support such as emotional and mental health support, technology, and social skills for deafblind individuals. Visit the Deafblind UK website here

Deafblind International

Deafblind international are a non-profit organisation who aim to support professionals (such as educators, administrators, researchers, medical specialists, etc.), families and people who are deafblind to raise awareness of deafblindness. Visit Deafblind International here. 

Positive Eye

Positive Eye is an independent provider of training and resources designed to support the learning and development of children and young people who have sight loss. Visit the Positive Eye website here.

We recommend the following Positive Eye resources in particular:

Sensory Processing 101

Sensory Processing 101 provides information and support strategies to families and professionals. You can download a free sensory processing starter kit on their website - this is also available in book form ("Sensory Processing 101" by Dayna Abraham)

Look

Look are an independent organisation supporting young visually impaired people and their families, through mentoring, events, youth forums and parent support groups.  They also link to other charities and organisations who can help you access the support you need. Visit the Look website here

 

Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) provides a wide range of support and advice for adults, children, and young people with sight loss. Visit the RNIB website here.

Websites providing classroom advice / educational resources

Scottish Sensory Centre (SSC)

Provide support and learning resources for everyone involved in the education of children and young people who have visual impairments or who are Deafblind. You can visit the SSC website here.

Positive Eye

Positive Eye is an independent provider of training and resources designed to support the learning and development of children and young people who have sight loss. They have lots of resources including:

Positive Eye's Idea Machine - Videos | Facebook

Positive Eye – Activities with buckets  

PositiveEye - YouTube Channel

You can download the Positive Eye inclusive lesson resources here.

Paths To Literacy

Paths to Literacy is a US based website that has a great deal of useful information and ideas for supporting your VI child’s education at home. You can visit the Paths to LIteracy website here.

 

Perkins School for the Blind eLearning

Perkins School for the Blind, Massachusetts, United States of America was founded in 1829.  The website provides information and learning resources for visually impaired and Deafblind children and young people. You can visit the Perkins website here.

 

Stephen Hawking School Learning Resources

The Stephen Hawking school is a school for 2-11 year olds with profound learning difficulties. Following is a link to the differentiated learning resources and outreach opportunities that they provide : Stephen Hawking School - Outreach Handouts

 

Phonak - The Listening Room

The listening room is an online resource aimed to support speech and communication development for people with a hearing loss. Visit the Listening Room here.

 

Multi-Sensory Story Making Information – PAMIS

PAMIS (promoting a more inclusive society) have created an information booklet about creating a multi sensory story experience for young people, full of ideas and information. Multi-Sensory Storytelling (pamis.org.uk)

RNIB Bookshare

Accessible home learning with RNIB Bookshare during COVID-19.

 

Special Needs Jungle

Information regarding Coronavirus information for families of children with special educational needs and disabilities.

 

Twinkl

Twinkl provide materials to help you teach all areas of the National Curriculum. Visit Twinkl here

 

Topmarks

Topmarks is an independent educational website for children, teaching professionals and parents, providing online games and activities. Visit Topmarks here

 

VIEW

View are working with other sensory impairment charities to provide support during the Covid-19 crisis. The following page shares links to information on school closures, home learning resources: www.viewweb.org.uk/covid-19 

Websites to support communication

Phonak - The Listening Room

The listening room is an online resource aimed to support speech and communication development for people with a hearing loss. Visit the Listening Room here

Canaan Barrie On Body Signs

Sight Scotland have got a wealth of videos demonstrating how to communicate using Canaan Barrie On Body Signs. Sight Loss Advice, Help & Guidance From Sight Scotland

Poetry in BSL Magic Hands

Magic Hands is a CBBC children’s programme which uses BSL to support the telling of familiar poems. View Magic Hands on BBC iPlayer here.

 

ITV Signed Stories

ITV have created animated videos of traditional and modern children’s stories with British Sign Language. View the ITV Signed Stories here

 

Clicker

Clicker is a program for computers or iPads that is easily accessible with a speech function to help with communication skills. Find out more about Clicker here

Websites supporting access to reading

These all allow you to download digital books or audiobooks via a device.

RNIB Bookshare

National Accessible Library

RNIB Library or Overdrive

Libby Library app   

RNIB Large Print Lending Library

Audible

Websites to support early sensory development

Activities for Children and Young People with CHARGE Syndrome

Gail Deuce's website provides a variety of advice and activities for families and professionals supporting someone with CHARGE Syndrome.

Massage Stories 

Massage stories are a great session  to include as part of your school curriculum or as a home activity. Below are some links to learn more about them.

Story Massage

Story Massage Programme

Spread the Happiness

From the creator of Dough disco “Spread the Happiness” has some fantastic sensory activities and fun resources for development. Dough Disco ™ - Spread the happiness

Learning and Exploring Through Play

Learning and Exploring through Play have lots of ideas for sensory play activities.

Imagination Tree

Imagination Tree provides a variety of sensory activity ideas.

Inclusive Teach

Inclusive Teach provides a variety of lesson ideas and fun inclusive activities for at home and at school.

Rainy Day Mum

Rainy Day Mum has ideas for fun activities for all ages.

Hey Bear on YouTube

Hey Bear is a YouTube channel with lots of simple videos with high contrast images on black background to engage a young child with a visual impairment.

Barefoot Books

Barefoot Books have a variety of activities to download and a fantastic youtube channel full of sing-a-longs.

 

Websites supporting Sport and Exercise

Positive Eye

Positive Eye have produced the following resources:

Tips on supporting a child with a visual impairment during gymnastics.

Top Access Tips for planning a PE lesson

Top Access Tips for PE Games

 

British Blind Sport

'British Blind Sport prides itself on making a visible difference through sport as we know that taking the first step into participating in a sporting or recreational activity can change lives for the better.’ Visit British Blind Sport here.

Metro Blind Sport

Metro Blind Sport provide Audio Exercise Programs – Metro Blind Sport.  All programs are free, showing you how to stretch, strengthen, condition, and tone your body, all without the benefit of eyesight. Visit Metro Blind Sport here.  

Websites for Mental Health and Wellbeing

Go Noodle

Go Noodle provides movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts. Visit Go Noodle here

ELSA-Emotional Literacy Support Assistants

The ELSA programme is a fantastic resource for staff members, it provides training and resources to support young peoples understanding of their emotions and tools to manage their feelings through literacy work. Visit the ELSA archives here

 

We Do Listen Foundation

Videos, songs, interactive questions and more to help young children be better listeners, learn important life lessons and feel good about themselves. Visit We Do Listen here

Young Minds

Young Minds’ mission is “to make sure all young people can get the mental health support they need, when they need it, no matter what.” Visit Young Minds here

The Youth Intervention Centre

The Youth Intervention Centre is a private service aimed at supporting young people through mental health and emotional difficulties. They work with Moorvision to provide electronic or large print files of resources. 

Visit the Youth Intervention Centre here

Visit the Moorvision website here

Useful Facebook Pages

Gwyneth McCormack Positive Eye | Facebook 
Positive Eye's Idea Machine - Home | Facebook
Charge Syndrome (UK) 'supporting each other' | Facebook
The Charge Syndrome Foundation - Home | Facebook
Messy STUFF - Tuff Tray Ideas | Facebook
Story Massage Programme l Facebook
Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) Awareness | Facebook
Cortical Visual Impairment Professionals | Facebook
Interoception: The Eighth Sensory System | Facebook
The Zones of Self Regulation in Action | Facebook

 

 

 

 

Sport and Exercise

Eastern Region Contacts for VI Accessible Activities and Sports

Activities A – Z

             

Archery 

Abbey Bowmen (Romford, Essex)

All sight level supported

Abbeybowmen website

secretary@abbeybowmen.org.uk

Boxing

Ipswich Boxing Club

All sight levels supported

07787 507791(Martin Cherington)

Ipswich Boxing Club Website

Ipswichbox123@gmail.com

Climbing

VI groups for 6-10 year olds and older group for 11-18 year olds.

Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre (Saturdays)

01449 674980 (Richard Bond)

Cycling 

Charlotte’s Tandems

Free hire

Charlotte’s Tandems Website 

Driving

Explore 4 x 4

Offroad driving experience, no licence needed

01787 320640

Explore 4x4 website 

Gliding

Rattlesden Gliding Club

07586 818775 (Kostas Kostalampros)

kostaskostalampros@gmail.com

Rattlesden Gliding website

 

Goalball  

Suffolk

Equipment/training available

Steve Giddings, Clare Burman, Mark Lynch

01473 611011 / info@suffolksight.org.uk


Essex D4S Goalball Cub

Colchester

07922 885632 (Abigail Saxon)

abigail@disability4sport.co.uk

 

Cambridge Dons Goalball Club

All sight levels supported

07939 181288 (Warren Wilson)

Warren.wilson@hotmail.com

 

Norfolk & Norwich Goalball Teams

07876 145918  (John Milligan)

John.milligan@norfolk.gov.uk

 

 

Gymnastics 

Cambridge Gymnastics Academy

07971 864653 / Cambridge Gymnastics Academy website

 

Pipers Vale Gymnastics Club, Ipswich

01473 433676 / clubcontact@pipersvale.co.uk / Pipers Vale website


 

Martial Arts 

Adaptive Martial Arts

All sight levels supported

Neil Kirland – info@adaptivemartialarts.co.uk

Adaptive Martial Arts website

 

Ipswich Judo Club             

All sight levels supported

01394 670254 (Andrew Topliss) andrew.topliss@btinternet.com

Ipswich judo website

Tiger Tastic Karate

07494 403472 (Bex Minns)

kickittigers@gmail.com

Tiger Tastic website

 

Rowing 

Cantabrigian Rowing Club

Adaptive rowing

adaptive@cantabsrowing.org.uk (Gill Cooper)

Cantabrigian Rowing website

 

Running 

Bungay Black Dog Running Club

All sight levels supported

accessiblesport@bungayblackdogrunningclub.co.uk (Sue Potter)

Bungay Black Dog website

 

Jaffa Running Club (beginners courses/guided running)

01473 748182 (David Smith)

 

Orwell Panthers Athletic Club

01473 433611

orwellpanthersac@gmail.com

Orwell Panthers website

 

Sailing

Deben Yacht Club

All sight levels supported

01394 385221 (Frances Alexander)

Deben Yacht website

 

EAST – East Anglia Sailing Trust (age18+)

Yacht Harbour Ipswich

07872 907719 (Trevor Williams)

vicruisingrecruitment@e-a-s-t.org.uk

 

Shooting

Beccles Rifle Club

All sight levels supported

info@becclesriffleclub,org,uk

Beccles Rifle website

 

Felixstowe Rifle Club (age11+) 

secatfrc@btinternet.com

Felixstowe Rifle website

 

 

Skiing

 

Suffolk Leisure Park, Bourne Hill, Wherstead, Ipswich IP2 8NQ

01473 602347 (Simon Wells)

 

Norfolk Snowsports Club

01603 662781

adaptive@norfollksnowsports.com

Norfolk Snowsports website

 

Sports Club for the Disabled (Pat Hoy)

01473 690834

  

Swimming

City of Cambridge Swimming Club

All sight levels supported

membership@cocsc.org.uk

City of Cambridge Swimming website

 

Ipswich Swimming Academy

07764 223226 (Nick Tyson)

ipswichswimmingacademy@gmail.com

Ipswich Swimming website

 

West Suffolk Swimming Club

development@westsuffolkswimming.co.uk

West Suffolk Swimming website

 

 

Tennis

East Anglia Tennis & Squash Club

All sight levels supported

01603 453532

club@eatsc.org.uk

East Anglian Tennis & Squash Club website

 

Ipswich Tennis Club

01473 251143

tennis@ipswichsports.co.uk

Ipswich Tennis website

 

 

Theatre

 

Unscene Suffolk 18+

Caroline Roberts  (theatre)

Emma (singing)   

caroline.unscenesuffolk@gmail.com

emma.unscenesuffolk@gmail.com

 

Mousetrap Theatre Group

02076324111 (Jo Pelly)

 

 

Windsurfing 

 

Alton Water Sports Centre          

01473328408

 

 

Miscellaneous contacts

 

Anyone Can (sports events)

Harry Macdonald                                

07788259104 

Cam Sight

01223 420033

Cam Sight website

 

Essex Sight

01206 548196

services@essexsight.org.uk

 

Eyes Free Fitness (YouTube channel)

Channel containing guided fitness sessions from HIIT sessions to pilates and yoga

 

Suffolk Sight

01284 748800

info@suffolksight.org.uk

Suffolk Sight website

 

Vision Norfolk

Providing wide range of sporting activities and walking groups

01603 573014 (Emma Dean)

Emmadean@nnab.org,uk

 

Thorpe Woodlands

Outdoor activities including low and high ropes, and a myriad of other activities.

British Blind Sport

'British Blind Sport prides itself on making a visible difference through sport as we know that taking the first step into participating in a sporting or recreational activity can change lives for the better.’ Visit the British Blind Sport website here.

Metro Blind Sport

Metro Blind Sport provide free Audio Exercise Programs, showing you how to stretch, strengthen, condition, and tone your body without the benefit of eyesight. Visit Metro Blind Sport here.

News and Events

Virtual ‘Moving on’ Workshops for Year 11 to 13 Every Wednesday 4-6pm Starting 6th October. Download the flyer for more information.