What our service does
Our aim is to raise the achievement and life outcomes for visually impaired children and young people.
We provide information, advice and support regarding all aspects of visual impairment. Support for schools includes access to the curriculum, books and materials, helpful technology, getting around safely (habilitation), self-help skills, adapting the environment and social and emotional wellbeing.
We work closely with children and young people, their families/carers, staff in educational settings and other key professionals in the NHS and Social Care.
The level of support we offer ranges depending on the needs of the child or young person.
We offer visual awareness training to school staff and training in relation to the needs of individual pupils. We also offer peer awareness training in schools.
We encourage families and carers to attend activities and events where children and young people have opportunities to meet others with sight loss.
Who our service provides for
We provide support for children and young people from birth either in their home, school or setting.
We support children and young people whose visual difficulties cannot be corrected by glasses.
Any child or young person who has been registered as Sight Impaired or Severely Sight Impaired will be supported by our service.
How a child or young person can access the service
Most referrals are made by eye hospitals/departments, schools, settings and other professionals.
Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC)
Are a non-profit organisation who provide a range of services in London and across England and Wales for blind and partially sighted children and young people, their families and the professionals who work with them. RSBC have their own Family Support Service and Social and Independence Groups for young people and adults. They offer a wide range of activities and services including employment support, health and well-being clubs, creative groups and a youth forum.
There are always plenty of free activities organised during school holidays which children and young people can participate in.
For more information visit www.rsbc.org.uk or call 020 3198 0225.
Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB)
The largest of the UK’s sight loss charities. The RNIB provides support, information and advice for people affected by sight loss, as well as for eye health and other professionals. RNIB runs a telephone Helpline to provide information for anyone affected by a sight problem. RNIB also maintains an accessible website and print and audio publications.
Other key features include:
- Online shop - sells accessible products, gifts and publications.
- Books- RNIB National Library Service contains more than 40,000 titles making it the largest specialist library in the UK for readers with sight loss. Audio books are provided through Talking Books Service.
- Eye Health - comprehensive A-Z guide to eye conditions.
- Practical Advice - information about Benefits, Registering Sight Loss and Grants.
Do you know that you can try before you buy most items at the RNIB? 105 Judd Street is the address of the London based RNIB store where you can talk to staff and test products before purchasing.
Charitable organisation that supports people affected by inherited progressive sight loss and also invests in medical research to ensure that people can lead a fulfilling life.
There is a UK Helpline which is open from 9.30am to 9.30pm (Monday to Friday)
Very accessible website with clear information about the range of macular dystrophies. A wealth of resources including descriptions of macular conditions, factsheets, teaching resources, access to support services, a specialist shop and a forum for selling second hand items.
VICTA is a national charity that provides support to children and young adults from 0 to 29 who are blind or partially sighted, and their families. They organise activities designed to improve the emotional, social and living skills of the children and young people that we support. They believe that bringing children and young people who are blind or partially sighted together to socialise, have fun and travel whether in the UK or abroad helps them to realise just what they can achieve.
- Grants are available to enable children and young people to reach their full potential. Whether it is for a Brailler or a computer to help them keep in touch.
- VICTA want to encourage children and young people to develop independent life skills and therefore provide grants for equipment such as talking household items, magnifiers, navigation aids and activity breaks.
Thomas Pocklington Trust
A charity committed to increasing awareness and understanding of the needs of people with sight loss and developing and implementing services which meet their needs and improve lives.
- Latest News and Updates from across the sight loss sector and the research section which is a central part of the charity’s work.
- Young Vision Alliance - families and vision impairment organisations across England have united to fight Government Cuts that could affect the futures of children with visual impairment. Their report ‘Our Futures Matter’ was launched at an event at Parliament in December 2018.
- In the ‘Children and Young People’ section there is information about the report ‘Our Right to Study’. Written in partnership with the RNIB and VICTA , the report sets out a number of recommendations for Government to ensure that DSA works for students with visual impairments.
British Blind Sport
The work of the charity enables blind and partially sighted people to have the same opportunities as sighted people and enjoy sport and recreational activities in the UK. Tel: 01926 424247
VI Talk supports blind and partially sighted people, their families and friends. It is also aimed at anyone who works in the field of visual impairment. They offer virtual Facebook peer support, advice and podcasts. Tel: 0161 298 8255
Blind in Business
Blind in Business was founded in 1992 by three blind graduates. They can help if you are:
- A blind or partially sighted teenager, looking for career advice or technology advice.
- A parent or carer of a blind or partially sighted child.
- A Careers Advisor at University who would like to learn how to support blind and partially sighted students.
- A Disability Advisor at College or University.
- An employer, looking to take on blind or partially sighted candidates.
- Sighted and have a friend or relative who is visually impaired and may need our support.
- Having problems with your sight in the workplace and need some support or direction on technology, or support with your employer.
- A blind or partially sighted undergraduate or graduate looking for support in finding work.
- A blind or partially sighted undergraduate or graduate looking for support at University.
Useful website, specific to people with a diagnosis of Nystagmus.
- What is Nystagmus? Including information for parents and teachers - free downloadable materials for school staff to help them support a child with Nystagmus at school or in an early years setting.
- Social Events
- Information and support line (Mon- Fri office hours)
- Education Resource Hub
Aniridia Network UK
A support group and charity concerned with the rare genetic condition aniridia - which causes a lack of irises in the eyes and poor vision from birth. The charity helps people with aniridia, their families, doctors and teachers. Tel: 07792 867 949
International Glaucoma Association
The IGA is the charity for people with glaucoma. They provide information, literature, advice and fund essential research to prevent unnecessary loss of sight through early detection, diagnosis and treatment. Tel: 01233 648 170
Volunteer run organisation that aims to provide information, advice and support for people with albinism and their families. Also provides information about the condition to professionals working with people with albinism.
- Information about social events and conferences.
- Videos of AF members who share their experiences of albinism, either as a person living with the condition or as a parent of a child with albinism.
AbilityNet helps people of any age and with any disability to use technology to achieve their goals at home, at work and in education. By providing specialist advice services, free information resources and by helping to build a more accessible digital world.
Useful Information Sheets
> Daily Living Skills https://www.henshaws.org.uk/knowledge-village/daily-living-skills/
> Henshaws Life Hacks https://www.henshaws.org.uk/knowledge-village/henshaws-life-hacks/