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Advisory Teaching Service Team for Multisensory Impairment

The Team for Multisensory Impairment is part of the Advisory Teaching Service which is a countywide Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) advisory support service. Multisensory Impairment (MSI) is also called Deafblindness. Support is available for children and young people who have both a diagnosed hearing loss and a diagnosed visual impairment at all stages of the Gloucestershire Pathway. The team consists of a specialist Advisory Teacher for Multisensory Impairment who holds the mandatory qualification for MSI and works closely with qualified specialist advisory teachers for hearing impairment and visual impairment; deaf communications tutor; specialist speech and language therapists; touch typing tutor and mobility and independence specialists.

What we do:

  • Provide support for children and young people from the confirmation of a multisensory impairment (combined  hearing impairment and 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 develop communication strategies, language skills, listening skills, visual skills, mobility and independence skills
  • Support, advise and empower children and young people (CYP),  to understand their  multisensory impairment (hearing and vision); audiological equipment; communication skills, including signing if appropriate; Braille; Moon; specialist IT skills; social skills; mobility and independence skills; listening skills, visual skills
  • We work closely with families, early years and school staff, speech therapists, mobility and independence specialists 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 a sensory impairment (hearing, visual or multisensory impairment) and their children

  • Provide developmental and educational advice in relation to the CYP’s multisensory impairment

  • Support CYP with Multisensory Impairment, their families and settings, at all levels of the Gloucestershire’s SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) Graduated Pathway

  • Ensure that the views, wishes, perspectives and experiences of the CYP are fully considered in their provision

  • Support CYP to develop a positive understanding of their multisensory impairment and identity.

  • Provide, monitor and evaluate use of specialist equipment including audiological equipment such as radio aids; magnification equipment and specialist IT hardware and software

  • We offer and provide a range of training from individual training around a CYP’s needs to whole school and area based specialist courses to support continuing professional development  in relation multisensory 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 base)
01594 823102 (Forest of Dean ATS base)
01452 426955 (Gloucester ATS base)
01452 583728 (Stroud ATS base)

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 hearing or vision your first port of call should be the GP.  If necessary your GP will refer your child to specialist audiology and/or opthalmology services within your area who will refer to out team as appropriate.  As a parent/carer you will be asked for consent for health services to contact the Advisory Teaching Service Teams for Sensory Impairment (Hearing Impairment, Visual Impairment, Multisensory Impairment as appropriate).   The teacher offering support in your area will then contact you directly.

Local Offer

Local Offer Details

Who we offer this service to:

We work with CYP who have:

  • Multisensory Impairment: a combination of diagnosed hearing loss and diagnosed visual impairment.  Many of the children have 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
  • A referral service is provided to cover the school holiday periods for any newly diagnosed babies under the Newborn Hearing Screening Programme
  • The level of support offered to each child and young person and family is based on the CYP's needs in relation to their multisensory 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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