School premises audit


Ask your QTVI or habilitation officer to do a whole school premises check including the playground, to ensure ACCESSIBILITY AND SAFETY for a vision impaired child

For example:

  • Outline step edges in yellow
  • Highlight pillars and other vertical hazards and ensure all highlighting is near eye level
  • Provide handrails on both sides of stairs
  • Provide controllable lighting and blinds at windows to minimise glare

Other physical environment considerations

  • Give the child time to get to know and become familiar with the physical environment.
  • If appropriate give the child an individual tour of the school environment and show where resources are kept.
  • Don’t change the room around too often.
  • Does the classroom for a young vision impaired child need to be upstairs or can classes be swapped so class is on ground floor?
  • Give vision impaired child a 5 minute pass to enable him or her to go up and down stairs before or after the crowd or to access the cloakroom without a crowd.
  • Make wall displays accessible height-wise. Show them to the child 1:1.
  • Choose a locker at eye height.
  • Be mindful of trip hazards – computer cables, bag straps poking out from desks.
  • Lights should not be turned off in areas of only occasional use.
  • Put coat peg at end of row.
  • Use a bright colour to differentiate the child’s sports and boom bag from other bags of the same colour.
  • Secondary school – 2 school lockers may be needed for enlarged work files. Make sure lockers are accessible and not in a classroom as child may need to use locker more often than others.
  • Use a brightly coloured padlock for locker.
  • Plan and practise 1:1 procedure for fire alarm practice.

 

 

 

 

The Playground


The playground is an important social space for your child, a place to build confidence and teach children how to socialise. Ask your QTVI for input and advice to ensure the playground is accessible for your child both physically and in terms of inclusion.

The physical environment

Ask your QTVI or habilitation officer to perform a physical audit of the playground alongside your child if appropriate, to identify obstacles and hazards and to provide solutions.

RNIB Guide on supportive playgrounds for Vision Impaired Children

RNIB guide on inclusive playground games

Ideas include:

  • Buddy bench for friends to come to
  • Organised inclusive group games in playground
  • Organise board games / other activities inside or outside with chosen friends
  • Friends to wear yellow bibs if appropriate
  • Staff to monitor VI child’s inclusion

 

School trips


School trips are an important experience for all children. It is worth considering the following advice in advance.

Day school trips

  • School to draw up risk assessment and plan with pupil’s vision impairment in mind.
  • Is additional support needed for safety reasons?
  • Is additional support needed for educational reasons so that the pupil can fully access the learning objective?
  • 1:1 support to be provided if necessary.
  • If appropriate, parents to meet school staff going on trip and discuss individual needs.
  • School to contact venue to check accessibility and availability of large print material or guides for a vision impaired pupil.
  • Vision impaired pupil to be at front of group when staff giving instructions or demonstrations being given.

Theatre visits

  • Contact theatre to ensure school group (or smaller group with vision impaired child) are allocated seats at front of theatre, cinema or auditorium.
  • School to consider attending an audio described performance.
  • School to consider asking for touch tour.
  • Large print guides are available for museums or theatre performances.
  • Consider use of binoculars at theatre if no other consideration made.
  • Staff member to help interpret performance as appropriate.

Residential school trips

  • School to draw up risk assessment and plan with pupil’s vision impairment in mind.
  • Is additional support needed for safety reasons?
  • Is additional support needed for educational reasons so that the pupil can fully access the learning objective?
  • Ask for a detailed itinerary of school trip
  • Consider writing notes for staff on the trip giving specific information on your child’s sight and explaining when and where sight issues may arise for your child
  • Meet with staff going on schools trip if appropriate to discuss the trip itinerary and its impact with regards to sight
  • For older children check arrangements for ‘free time’ on school trips