A child or young person benefits from having the people who know them best, their family, involved in decisions around support, providing feedback on progress, and enriching the educational experience by supporting learning and participation outside of school.
Adults who work to support children and young people in schools and colleges go by a range of job titles including classroom assistant, pupil support assistant and teaching assistant. Whatever their title and role, they are key professionals as they often work closely with a child or young person on a regular basis to ensure they can access learning. This might be through direct support in lessons or through producing accessible resources that can be used in class and for homework. Support staff working with children and young people with VI should be suitably trained for their role.
Class teachers or subject teachers with children or young people with VI in their class should have had training from an appropriately qualified professional to enable them to make their lessons accessible. They will need to have access to ongoing training and support, as required, because the recommended strategies are likely to change over time in response to factors such as changes in the curriculum or the increasing maturity and independence of the child or young person.
Teacher with responsibility for SEN/ALN/ASL
The teacher with responsibility for Special Educational Needs (SEN)/Additional Learning Needs (ALN)/Additional Support for Learning (ASL) will coordinate the support for children and young people with VI in their setting. They will also arrange regular meetings of the team around the child or young person to review the written plan of support.
Qualified Teachers of children and young people with Vision Impairment (QTVIs) are usually employed by the local authority to support schools and colleges in the local area. When a child or young person is first identified as having vision impairment, the QTVI will carry out an assessment and make recommendations on the support needed to access learning. QTVIs, along with their colleagues in the local authority vision impairment team, can provide teaching for specialist skills that children and young people with vision impairments need to be able to access the mainstream curriculum with as much independence as possible. Local authority VI teams can provide training and ongoing support to schools and colleges to enable them to meet the needs of their children and young people with VI.
Registered Qualified Habilitation Specialists (RQHSs) can provide teaching for mobility skills and independent living skills, which are essential for children and young people with VI to have full access to the educational experience and prepare for life beyond school.
Other professionals may be involved, for example eye care professionals and specialist professionals to support additional areas of need. Please see this page for a more extensive list of supporting professionals: Who does what in eye care? | RNIB