Everyone will work together to create a written plan of support. Usually, the member of staff in the educational setting who has responsibility for additional needs or special educational needs will organise a meeting for those involved to decide together what should go in the plan. The reports prepared by specialist professionals will be key, along with input from education staff who work with the child or young person on a regular basis. It is very important that the views, concerns and hopes of you and your child are listened to at this meeting and taken account of in any decisions.
The written plan will be centred around what is needed for your child to achieve their potential both in the short term and the longer term, so as well as addressing current concerns, it should be forward looking.
Written plans of support can be referred to by various other names including Child’s Plans (Scotland), Coordinated Support Plans (Scotland), Education, Health and Care Plans (England), Individual Development Plans (Wales), Individual Education Plans (across the UK), Personal Learning Plans (NI) and Statements (Northern Ireland and Wales).
Support plans should recognise two key factors:
- Certain adjustments will be needed to make the educational experience inclusive for children and young people with VI.
- Children, and young people, with VI should have access to suitably qualified professionals to help them develop specialist skills that will enable them to thrive.
These key factors are explained in more detail, along with a wide range of examples, in the Curriculum Framework for Children and Young People with Vision Impairment (CFVI). This document clearly sets out the skills that are important for children and young people with vision impairment, so it is helpful for everyone in the team around a child to look at together when thinking about support needs.
In addition to the main document, a group of parents have produced a CFVI Guide for parents and carers with suggestions for how the framework might be used to help get the right support.
Support plans for children and young people with VI will be specific to the individual but will often include provision such as:
- Adjustments to the environment, for instance yellow paint on edges of steps and making signage accessible.
- Training for mainstream staff.
- A seating position close to the board and the teacher.
- Work provided in large print/electronic format/braille with images that have been adapted to make them easier to access.
- Provision of specialist equipment and training for its use.
- Additional time for assessments.
- Specialist teaching for braille, assistive technology, mobility and independent living skills.
- Specialist input to develop self-advocacy skills and for emotional wellbeing.
You should be able to request a copy of your child’s written plan of support from the educational setting at any time.
To find more examples of the additional support that might be helpful for your child, take a look at the Curriculum Framework for Children and Young People with Vision Impairment.