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Special Education Needs

Children's Service for the Visually Impaired

What is the Children's Service for the Visually Impaired?

The Children's Service for the Visually Impaired (CSVI) is a service funded by the council to provide support for children and young people who have been diagnosed with a visual impairment. CSVI aims to ensure that all children reach their academic potential, and are active members of society.

CSVI staff help children, their parents, and adults who work with the child to understand the visual impairment, and how it may affect the child’s day to day life, both at home and at school. They are teachers with specialist training in supporting children with sight loss, not opticians.

How do I get support?

The service has an open referral system. After working with a child and assessing their vision, we'll use nationally-agreed criteria to decide on a suitable level of support.

The level of support can vary from weekly visits to the home to help develop vision in young babies, through to termly visits into school to ensure that teachers are aware of any adaptations that are needed to help with access.

There are also specialist bases available at primary and secondary age for those children who may need a tactile curriculum.

What support and groups are available?

CSVI runs a regular parent and toddler group to give support and advice to parents, as well as a social group for 8 -13 year olds to help develop social skills and awareness of their peers across the Teesside area.

Children are frequently taken on residential activities to help develop their independence and life experiences.

Support to help develop independent living skills is provided by a habilitation officer, who will visit homes and schools to make sure they are suitable and safe, and also work with individuals to help them overcome any difficulties.

An IT advisor and specialist support officer will work with children and schools to help them develop access to technology.        


If you have any concerns about a child in your care either as a parent or a teacher, please contact:

Children's Service for the Visually Impaired
Phone: 01642 354354
Children's Service for the Visually Impaired
Sensory Support Centre
Whinney Banks Primary School
Fakenham Avenue