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The Visual Impairment (VI) team is part of East Ayrshire Support Team (EAST).

It provides support for children and young people from birth to 18 years with a wide range of visual impairments which impacts on day to day living and access to the curriculum.

The VI team is made up of teachers and classroom assistants who work in Early Childhood Centres, mainstream and special schools across East Ayrshire on a peripatetic basis.  A Principal Teacher has first line responsibility for the VI team.

Staff within the VI team undertake additional personal study to remain abreast of current best practice around learners with a visual impairment and are members of associated national groups including Visual Impairment Network for Children and Young People (VINCYP) and Scottish Association of Visual Impairment Education (SAVIE).

Referral procedures

Referrals to the VI team typically come from the orthoptist, community paediatrician, educational establishments or via the authority’s Team Around the Child (TAC) meeting.

The VI team contributes to the authority’s support policies and procedures to reflect best practice as detailed in the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2009 through:

  • consultation, liaison, advisory support
  • curriculum and staff development
  • direct teaching
  • supporting early identification and assessment

What the team does

Consultation, liaison, advisory support

  • Provides advisory support on print size, adaptations to materials, specialist resources and strategies required to make the curriculum accessible to learners with a visual impairment
  • Provides training on the use of appropriate assistive technology
  • Participates in multi-disciplinary meetings for planning and review
  • Works collaboratively with other agencies to provide coherent support
  • Arranges mobility training within the school environment, and within the local community.  This is organised in partnership with the Social Work Department

Curriculum and staff development

  • Provides guidance to colleagues in educational establishments who are making provision for learners with a visual impairment
  • Delivers career-long professional learning (CLPL) opportunities for colleagues to increase knowledge and understanding in this area

Direct teaching

  • Prepares teaching materials such as tactile diagrams and brailled text for pupils with a visual impairment
  • Provides direct teaching support across the curriculum as appropriate as well as offering a monitoring role
  • Assistive technology currently in use by pupils include Braillenote Touch, iPad, Prodigi Connect 12 and Explore 8 handheld electronic magnifier, all of which allow wider access to the curriculum
  • To support direct teaching, VI teachers may borrow books from Clearvision and Living Paintings
  • Electronic and audio books are sourced from a range of organisations

Support early identification and assessment 

  • Offers specialised Functional Visual Assessment (FVA) of children and young people with a visual impairment
  • Results of the FVA along with information from the Orthoptic clinic are collated in a pupil information and strategies report which is sent to schools and parents/carers.  This includes strategies and recommendations for staff within educational establishments which will enable them to better support the pupil with access to the curriculum.

Parental links

Communication with parents and carers is, in the main, via telephone and email. Meetings are arranged as required. On point of referral, parents and carers are issued with an information pack signposting them to other support services and useful websites.

Parents and carers receive a copy of the pupil information and strategies report.

Policy statement

Download the Visual Impairment Service's Policy Statement (PDF 442Kb).

Ayrshire deaf education service

The Ayrshire Deaf Education Service supports the needs of hearing impaired children and their families from diagnosis until school leaving age.

Sensory impairment service

The Sensory Impairment Service offers a range of supports to people who have a hearing or visual impairment. We will accept referrals from you, a family member, your optician or a health/social care professional.

Contact Information

East Ayrshire Support Team (EAST)
Visual Impairment Service
Crosshouse Campus
Playingfield Road
Telephone: 01563 554974
Ayrshire Deaf Education Service
Crosshouse Campus
Playingfield Road
Telephone: 01563 554976
Sensory Impaired Support Group (SISG)
Suite 5 Beresford Court
Beresford Lane
Ayr, KA7 2DW
Telephone: 01292 266791