Sensory Needs Service
The Sensory Needs Service assess and support hearing impaired (HI) and visually impaired (VI) children of all ages and abilities.
We work directly with families, settings and schools, promoting inclusion of children with sensory needs.
What we offer
After we assess the child’s needs, we support with:
- direct teaching for HI and VI pupils in maintained schools
- expert advice for teachers
- mobility training for teachers and other professionals
- resources, advice and strategies that they can use
- specialist technologies for curriculum access
We also run four Hearing Support Facilities in East Sussex for our highest need pupils.
Refer to the Sensory Needs Service
Most referrals come from the health service. Hearing and visual impairments are often identified before a child starts school.
We also welcome referrals from schools.
How we assess children
We will contact the family or school to discuss by phone, or arrange a visit to assess the child.
We use National Sensory Impaired Partnership criteria and ask questions with graded responses to score support levels. The total score gives a rough guide to the level of support needed.
We also consider their educational placement. A severely visually impaired pupil in a special school may score the same as a pupil in mainstream, but the level of support might vary. A special school may already use strategies that we would suggest, so additional support is not required.
Hearing impaired pupils with the highest needs often attend our Hearing Support Facilities.
We do not have a dedicated visual impairment support facility. If a profoundly visually impaired pupil needs to use Braille, we can provide a package of support to help them in their mainstream placement. Schools will also receive extra funding.
Contact the Sensory Needs Service
Phone: 01273 481 154
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