School and pre-school help for deaf, blind or deafblind children

How we can help your child

We can support your child's learning. For very young children, this can be at home or in pre-school, or for older children at school or college. This support is available once they have a medical diagnosis of hearing impairment, vision impairment or deafblindness.

  • We will give you information, advice, support and strategies for pre-school children and school aged children.
  • We can help your child communicate, and become more independent with learning.
  • We can support your child's pre-school or school with training and equipment.

Refer your child to us

You can refer your child to us yourself or ask the SENCO at your child’s pre-school or school or refer to our service.

Hearing impairment

If your child has a hearing impairment you can:

Visual impairment

If your child has a visual impairment you can call 07795 15 13 64 or email jrussell@valence.kent.sch.uk.

Multi sensory impairment and deafblindness

If your child has a multi-sensory impairment or is deafblind, you can call 07989 67 11 20 or email hdowns@valence.kent.sch.uk.

If your child is at a maintained special school, the sensory link professional there should contact us to discuss support, or the visit the STLS Sensory Service website for more information.

After the referral

Once your child has been referred, we will use the information in the medical diagnosis to work out whether your child needs help from a specialist teacher. All of our teachers have special qualifications in working with deaf, blind or deafblind children and are part of the specialist teaching and learning services (STLS).

We will make initial contact with you within 2 or 3 days of receiving the referral. We will give you information about the level of your child’s hearing impairment or vision impairment and the impact it will have. We'll also give you ideas to help your child's learning.

We can also support your child's pre-school and school.

Support your child may receive

We will tailor our support to suit your child's needs through advice and information or regular support visits. We provide support for your child to help them access learning and education and develop independence.

Specialist support may include:

  • providing information about your child's sensory impairment
  • advice on learning through play and offering contact with local support networks for pre-school children
  • supporting a range of communication modes
  • supporting the development of language, listening skills or sign
  • giving advice on tactile approaches to learning and teaching Braille
  • supporting access to specialist equipment such as assistive listening devices or electronic magnification devices
  • promoting independence and wellbeing – for example, helping your child to do their school work independently and use their equipment positively
  • linking to other specialist support (mobility training) and specialist activities
  • monitoring progress, achievements and setting goals
  • providing specialist training and online training to pre-schools and schools.

Support your child's education setting may receive

All pre-schools and maintained schools can access support from the STLS Sensory Service.

Colleges of further education in Kent can arrange for us to deliver support for students and advice for staff.

If your child is at an independent school the school will need to pay for any support we give them. For additional resources and advice visit the STLS Sensory Service website.