What support should I receive from a nursery or pre-school, for a child with a vision impairment?

When a child with vision impairment starts at nursery, it may be the first time that they have spent regular time away from their parents or home. It can be very exciting for them making new friends, taking part in new activities and learning new skills. So it is important to consider what support can be put in place to make sure the transition to their new environment is a success.

You should have support from your local authority's Vision Impairment Service. A Qualified Teacher of Vision Impairment (QTVI) along with a Habilitation Specialist will be able to advise you and your child's nursery about how your child can navigate safely. They can offer information on what to consider in terms of hazards that may be present in the room and how to adapt lighting etc.

They should also be able to advise you about accessible learning, toys and play activities. The VI team may put in place some training for the staff at your child's nursery and suggest resources that you can use or work directly with the child. Such as how to use colour contrast, tactile symbols, large print or braille for labels and signs to make early learning is exciting and accessible.

Portage is service that supports the national and local development of inclusive services for children. They offer a home visiting educational service for pre school children with SEND and their families. Further information can be found on the Portage website.

Further information about supporting children with vision impairment in their early years can also be found on RNIB's Parenting a child with a vision impairment webpages.

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