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Visual Impairment :
Special Educational Needs
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Many people have some problems with their vision, but most can be corrected using glasses, contact lenses or through surgery, such as laser treatment.

Visual impairment refers to conditions which result in the person experiencing some degree of sight loss which cannot be corrected by these methods.

About 2 million people in Britain have some degree of visual impairment, but most are not serious.

The number registered as being sight impaired is about 300,000, of which 143,000 are registered as severely visually impaired/blind. Many of these are age-related.

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About 10,000 young people in Britain under the age of 17 are registered as being sight impaired.

Of these about 4,250 are registered as being severely visually impaired/blind, with 3,500 being of school age (NHS Information Centre).

As there are over 30,000 schools in the UK, it is unusual for any school to have any significant experience or expertise in educating a young person whose visual impairment creates a serious barrier to his/her learning and progress.

Our aim is to provide information about sight and vision, visual impairment and special educational needs to anyone involved with a visually impaired young person.

Understanding how we see enables us to understand the nature of a particular type of visual impairment and its effects on the individual.

From this we can determine how the young person can be supported in school, i.e. individual assistance, specialist training, curriculum modification, assistive technology etc., and ensure that the provision specified in the young person’s education, health and care plan (EHCP) is sufficient to meet the young person’s special educational needs and overcome the barriers to learning that can result from visually impairment.


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