Special Education Needs

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 staff are teachers with specialist training to support children with sight loss, not opticians. They will help a child, their parents and any 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 in school. CSVI aims to ensure that all children reach their academic potential and also are active members of society.

The service has an open referral system; after working with a child and assessing their vision we will use nationally agreed criteria to agree a suitable level of support. This 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 access.

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

Support and development

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 develop access to technology, which is crucial nowadays.        


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