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Camden Sensory Advisory Service - for visually impaired and those with multiple sensory impairments (Camden Council)

Our service works with children and young people who have a hearing or visual impairment

We work with children & young people who have a hearing or visual impairment or a dual / multi sensory impairment (deafblind), from birth to 25 years old in homes, hospitals and educational settings.

The Sensory Advisory Service has an important role to play in school improvements and supports all schools, early years’ settings and other provisions in providing good practice.

The services that we offer include:
- Discussions with pupils to ensure their views & needs are taken into account
- Advice on the use of specialist equipment and teaching strategies in the classroom
- Monitoring and assessment according to need.
- Training for staff and other professionals
- Advice & input on setting targets for Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and Annual Reviews and contribute to Education, Health and Care Plans
- Advice on special arrangements for National Curriculum assessments and exams
- Packages of work to support times of transition from ursery to primary; primary to secondary & post 16 education

We generally are able to support a child up to approximately a day a week, depending on the child's needs. We do provide ongoing support where it is needed.

Contact details

Contact Name
Paul Ryan
Contact Position
Advisory Teacher for visual and multi-sensory impairment
020 7974 6645


Camden Council
Pancras Square

Further details

St Pancras and Somers Town Ward
Last checked date
Record ID

Local Offer

About Local Offer
Local Offer Age Bands
Preparing for Adult Life 14-25
Children under 5
School Age Children & Young People 5-18
SEN Provision Type
Where is the service located and what areas does it cover?

Our office is located in 5 Pancras Square and we work across the whole of Camden.

Who does your service provide for?

We support children and familes from 0 to 25 who have a diagnosis of visual and hearing impairment and if necessary will support them all the way through their education settings. The criteria that we use to provide services is the NatSIP (National Sensory Impairment Partnership) Eligibility Criteria for scoring Support Levels. [NATSIP](…/Natsip-Eligibility-Criteria-Final-2013.pdf) If the child or young person has a diagnosis within visual and hearing we provide support.

How can a child or young person start using the service?

Referrals must come from an Audiological or Ophthalmological centre with parental or carer agreement. There are no waiting lists for the visual and multi-sensory impairment areas. There is no charge, we are a part of Camden’s local offer. A parent or young person might choose to use a personal budget to buy themselves extra equipment but this is rare.

How are decisions made about eligibility for your service?

Decisions about eligibility are based on firstly a medical diagnosis and then we use the Natsip Criteria as stated earlier for length of visits. [Eligibility criteria](…/Natsip-Eligibility-Criteria-Final-2013.pdf) Parents and children are given clear advice on the service criteria and how it functions, the length of visits needed and guidance given to schools. Each visit is written up with appropriate advice and shared amongst those involved with the child. We give clear advice on each visit through a record of visit sheet and verbally if needed to help the parent or child / young person to understand the decisions made.

How do you communicate with service users and how are they involved in decision making/planning?

We have a service leaflet and a guidance booklet to schools to consult if they have a child with a sensory impairment. An interpreter is available to enable communication with parent carers whose first language is not English. The hearing impairment team sign in British Sign Language. We usually seek the views of service users by using questionnaires. A parent will know how their child is doing as we also monitor the levels of each child we visit and improvement can be seen from this on a termly or annual basis. We would also report improvement on our visit forms. We offer parents training. We also run an annual conference to promote sensory awareness in the local authority where we have workshops and guest speakers, parents and professionals are welcome.

Is your service fully accessible?

The building we are based in is fully wheelchair accessible and the early years settings and schools we work in are too. There are disabled changing and toilet facilities in the early years settings and the schools we work in. We see children in their own homes too. We perform home visits, school visits and liaise with other professional groups to make sure we have a holistic view of the young person; assessments are carried out to make sure our advice is accurate and helpful.

What training have the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had/or will be they be getting?

The sensory service team is specially trained in the area of sensory impairment. An example of how we support staff in being trained is that Visual awareness training will be given to a year 7 class to promote awareness of a child in their class who has lost about 80% of their vision. Awareness training will be also given to the child's teachers. Training is offered to schools and parents when transition takes place.

Who should a service user contact if they want to raise a concern or complain about something?

A parent or young person should first go through the child's school if they wanted to raise a concern or complain about something. If the concern remained unresolved then you should contact the Sensory Services line manager. Sensory Advisory Service London Borough of Camden Children Schools and Families Camden Town Hall (for 5 Pancras Square) London, WC1H 9JE Or Hilary Forbes, Head of Special Educational Needs and Psychology Telephone: 0207 974 6500 Email:

Who can a parent carer/young person contact for further information?

A member of the Sensory Service Team specialising in the area of need would be the first to respond to the enquiry should a parent wish to discuss something about their child.

The Local Offer is a free and impartial service provided by Camden Local Authority. Any service or provider mentioned in this Local Offer, does not represent a recommendation or endorsement of the service or quality of the service provided. You are responsible for undertaking your own checks to determine suitability of the service and provider.

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