What is a QTVI?

A Qualified Teacher of Children and Young People with Vision Impairment (QTVI) plays a crucial role in the development and education of blind and partially sighted students. They work with children and families from birth, working in their homes, throughout early years, school and post- 16 settings.

How they can support

Their role is varied and they can help in many ways, including:

  • Establishing strategies for enabling  access to the school curriculum and to learn independently.
  • Guiding teaching staff on how they can best support learning.
  • Teaching specialist skills that will help with learning, such as how to use assistive technology, independent living and learning skills, learning braille and much more.
  • Working with mobility and rehabilitation specialists on developing mobility and independence skills.
  • Ensuring learning materials (handouts, worksheets, books, etc) are accessible by modifying them to suitable formats such as large print, electronic, braille or audio.
  • Advising on special arrangements for  exams or assessments.

Where they are based

They are typically based within a local authority education support service, sometimes known as the Sensory Support Service, Specialist Teaching Service or Vision Impairment team.

How to access their support

A local authority may take a referral from an ophthalmology department, medical professional, families, schools or college settings. This will vary between local authorities, so it is important to check what the referral process is. You can do this by visiting the ‘Local Offer’ page on a local authority’s website.

RNIB has produced a helpful guide about the support you can receive to access your education, including QTVI’s and how they can help you. Additionally, Devon County Council has a helpful guide on the role of a QTVI, check it out here.

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