Vision and Multi-Sensory Services

The Services for Vision and Multisensory Children and Young people offer support to young people, who have a diagnosed visual, or multisensory impairment, in education, up to the age of 25.

We are part of the Sensory and Physical Service within the Specialist Education Service.

Our Specialist Teachers provide assessment, and advice for curriculum and technology access, and the teaching of Braille. Our Sensory Support Practitioners provide additional one-to-one input with children and young people.

We also provide training on awareness of types of sight loss, practical ways to support visual access, and how to adapt learning environments to increase independence. Our training sessions are available to families, schools, other Suffolk County Council agencies and to voluntary groups.

What we offer

Pre-school children

We support children aged 0-3 and their families and we hold an informal drop-in group for pre-school visually impaired children and their families, providing play activities and an opportunities for parents to meet our team, and each other.

Schools and Colleges

We provide specialist assessment and advice to children and young people attending all schools and colleges, including specialist provisions – Suffolk schools, Academies and Free Schools.  For Independent schools we have a Traded Offer, following an initial consultation for which there is no fee. 

Intervenor Service

Our Intervenor Service provides one-to-one Intervenor support to children and young people who have a combined significant visual and hearing loss (Multisensory Impairment).  Intervenors support sensory and communication access in school settings. This is a paid for service. Read the criteria for the service.

Braille Literacy

We provide Braille tuition and Braille resources for all children and young people learning Braille.  We also offer training and support for school and setting staff learning Braille and provide on-going support for the use of Braille technology for pupils, students, and their educational settings.  We support families in learning and using Braille as well. 

Habilitation – Mobility and Independence

Our Habilitation Specialist provides one-to-one mobility, travel, and independence skills training for children and young people.  We also provide mobility training for school and setting staff.  

Our Habilitation Specialist also carries out visual access environmental audits for schools and setting, to help them be fully accessible for children and young people with visual needs.

ICT Access

We provide specialist visual access technology to children and young people with visual impairments such that they are not able to use the adaptive access features in typical digital devices, e.g. Laptop computers.

We provide one-to-one training and support to children and young people, their families, schools, and settings, in the use of the visual access features found in typical mainstream technology with access features.

Contact details and referral details

We accept referrals from education settings or directly from families.

Schools should refer to the Service using the Sensory Service Referral Form. For a more detailed overview of the Service, please refer to the Service Specification.

If you are a family, then to contact us in the first instance, please email [email protected].

Our team comprises:

Service for Vision – Children and Young People

Cathy Tatum – Joint Service Lead – One page profile

Rachel Lewis – Joint Service Lead – One page profile

Jenny Goode – Specialist Teacher

Suzanne Read – Specialist Teacher

Tracey Surl – Specialist Teacher

Helen Cain – Sensory Support Practitioner

Lydia Garside – Sensory Support Practitioner

Rachel Harris – Sensory Support Practitioner

Laura Picknell – Sensory Support Practitioner

Steve Giddings – Habilitation Specialist (Mobility and Independence)

Lucy Walsh – Sensory Support Practitioner

Vicky Songer – Sensory Support Practitioner

Bryony Barcroft – Sensory Support Practitioner

Service for Multisensory children and young people

Hollie Osborne – Service Lead – One page profile

Tanya Turner – Lead Intervenor

Kirsty Goodchild – Intervenor

Amy Bond – Intervenor

Amelia Hale – Intervenor

Tracey Fryatt – Intervenor

Molly Robson – Intervenor

Amy Pimble – Intervenor

Janice Richards – Intervenor

Anna Hartley – Sensory Support Practitioner

Steve Giddings – Habilitation Specialist (Mobility and Independence)

Resources for education

Resources from Sensory and Physical Service

VI Service Leaflet

Classroom Recommendations

Visually Accessible iPad Apps

VI & MSI Online Resources 

The RNIB is a charity organisation created to support visually impaired people, their families and professionals involved.

Guide Dogs offer a range of services for people with sight loss. 

Sensing Change are a Suffolk based organisation that provide support and guidance to those with vision or hearing loss.

Suffolk Sight is the sight loss charity for Suffolk.

VICTA is a national charity that provides support to children and young adults who are blind or partially sighted.

LOOK is a small charity based in Hereford, that work nationally to support VI Children, young people and their families.

Seeability Provide specialist support and eye care for people with learning disabilities.

SENSE is a national charity that supports multisensory impaired young people and their families.

The Scottish Sensory Centre provide support and learning resources for everyone involved in the education of children and young people who have visual impairments or who are Deafblind.

Paths to Literacy is a US based website that has a great deal of useful information and ideas for supporting VI children’s education at home.

Sight Scotland provide support, guidance resources around sight loss.

Positive Eye is an independent provider of training and resources designed to support the learning and development of children and young people who have sight loss.

CVI Scotland provides up to date research and resources relating to Cerebral Visual Impairment.

VIEW is a registered charity, which represents the interests and needs of children and young people with visual impairment across the United Kingdom.

Perkins School for the Blind provides information and learning resources for visually impaired and Deafblind children and young people.

The following organisations all allow you to download digital books or audiobooks via a device:

RNIB Bookshare 

RNIB Reading Services 

Calibre Audio