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Advisory Teaching Service - Visually Impaired Team

The Team for Visually Impaired is part of the Advisory Teaching Service which is a countywide Special Education Needs teaching and disabilities (SEND) advisory support service.  Support is available for children and young people with a diagnosed visual impairment at all stages of the Gloucestershire Pathway. The team consists of Qualified Teachers of Visual Impairment, Mobility and Indepedence Officer, Touch Typing Tutor and Resource Technician.

What we do:

  • We provide support for children and young people from the confirmation of a visual impairment until they leave school or further education college (0-25yrs).
  • We work closely with families of babies and pre-school children, helping them to understand the diagnosis, and then offering advice and support to visual skills, mobility and independence skills
  • Suppport, advise and empower children and young people (CYP), to understand their visual impairment, communication skills to include Braille, Moon, specialist ICT skills, social skills, mobility and independence skills, listening skills and visual skills.
  • We work closely with families, early years and school staff, mobility and independence specialist, touch typing tutor, VI technician and medical professionals enabling us to offer tailored and targeted support and advice aimed at helping children and young people achieve their full potential
  • Provide monthly early years (0-5yrs) support group for parents/carers of children with visual impairment and their children
  • Provide developmental and educational advice in relation to the CYP's visual impairment
  • Support CYP with visual impairment, their families and settings, at all levels of the Gloucestershire's SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) Graduated Pathway
  • Ensure the views, wishes, perspectives and experiences of the CYP are fully considered in their provision
  • Support CYP to develop a positive understanding of their visual impairment and identity
  • Provide, monitor and evaluate use of equipment: including equipment such as magnifiers, specialist ICT hardware and software, Braille and moon and enlarged print materials
  • We offer and provide a range of training around a CYP's needs to whole school and area based specialist courses to support continuting professional development in relation to visual impairment

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak the Advisory Teaching Service locality offices are temporarily unmanned, but we will continue to support schools and settings throughout this difficult time.
All Advisory Teachers are working remotely from home, and are contactable by e-mail.
Our telephones are currently being diverted to our Gloucester Office (01452 426955 or 01452 427579), so please do contact us for support as required.

Return to school and key stage transition arrangements:Whilst there is still uncertainty with regard to when schools will fully re-open, please be aware that the Advisory Teaching Service is currently working on strategies advice and resources, as part of the wider EISSS service,  to support this process.  This includes transition work for both children and young people who are already identified and are on our caseloads and their parents/carers and settings but also additional advice for settings with regard to how they might approach the return to school which we know will, for some children, be extremely challenging.  SENCos/parents/carers will be contacted direct where appropriate, but please call the ATS Advice Line for further information/support.  See below.

Advice helplines have been organised, and useful resources for settings and parents uploaded, please see individual Team pages
Please checkout our useful clips :

Who to contact

01452 324376 - Cheltenham ATS
01594 823102 - Forest ATS
01452 426955 - Gloucester ATS
01452 583728 - Stroud ATS

Where to go

Advisory Teaching Service
GL14 2DB

Other Details


Referral required
Referral Details

Who can refer and how:

  • Health services at the time of diagnosis, signed referral form
  • Schools, through the Advisory Teaching Service Referral form

If you have concerns regarding your child's vision your first port of call should be the GP.  If necessary your GP will refer you child to specialist opthalmology services within your area who will refer to our team as appropriate.  As a parent/carer you will be asked for consent for health services to contact the Advisory Teacher for Visual Impairment.  The teacher offering support in your area will then contact you directly.


Local Offer

Local Offer Details

We work with CYP who have:

  • A diagnosed visual impairment
  • A Visual impairment which can not be corrected to better than 6/18
  • CYP who have a diagnosed visual impairment with additional physical, medical and educational needs 

How and When we do it:

  • We work in homes, early years settings, respite settings, schools and other educational settings.  This support is available during term time
  • The level of support offered to each child and young person and family is based on the CYP's needs in relation to their visual impairment, their stage of development and the knowledge and support that they have around them.  Each referral is considered by the service in line with the NATSIP Eligibility Criteria.


SEN Provision Type

Practitioner Information

This information is intended solely for the use of practitioners within the children and young people's workforce in Gloucestershire. Please do not share information within this section with others.
For further information on this service please register or sign in.


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