Visual Impairment

The ROVIC service have specialist training and practice in working with infants, children and young people (0–18 years), who have clinical/functional vision impairments.

These should include one or more of the categories below:

  • Certificate of Sight Impaired/Severely Sight Impaired
  • An identifiable ophthalmic condition which has the potential to interfere with the acquisition and development of skills necessary for communication, orientation, mobility, independence and safety
  • A visual acuity of 6/18 or worse
  • Restricted / Incomplete visual field
  • A near visual acuity of N14 or worse

There may also be evidence of:

  • Cortical / Cerebral Visual Impairment resulting in visual processing deficits impacting on visual ability to interpret or functionally use vision in development of orientation, mobility, independence and safety skills
  • Neurological conditions resulting in additional needs such as social, emotional or behaviour difficulties which may be the outcome of an underlying visual condition

How can we help?

ROVICs assess the functional visual responses and behaviours of infants, children and young people. We encourage and monitor the developing functional abilities in relation to movement and independence, determining whether a visual difficulty is likely to impede access to or achievement of inclusion, independence, social interaction, orientation, mobility and navigation. We promote understanding, confidence and independence of each individual’s visual and non-visual abilities so that they can develop, progress and use vision to their fullest functional potential.

We can also provide information relating to care and support for deafblind children, local services and support and awareness training.

The ROVIC service is proud of the children and young people we have worked with who have developed independent skills within their particular capabilities. For some children this might mean learning how to make a sandwich for themselves, for others, this might be moving about their secondary school independently with the use of a long cane. Some young people have progressed to the Royal National College for the Blind and through the early skills they developed with our support, have felt more empowered in their independence.

What happens next?

We aim to respond to all requests for service within 14 days of receipt, including where this is a requests for Certification of Visual Impairment. Once a child/young person is accepted onto our waiting list, we try and see all children/young people within 6 weeks of the request.

For the children and young people who meet the criteria an assessment of their needs will report on advice, information and functional ability and may result in a personalised skills development programme/plan.

Every child is different so there is no ‘one size fits all’ plan. A personalised plan might include skills development and progression in the areas of:

  • Functional / useful vision
  • Movement / orientation and mobility
  • Self-esteem and independence
  • Personal / daily living activities
  • Inclusion and communication
  • Access, navigation and interactions within settings.

We may also offer support and awareness training to other professionals working with your family.

Self referral

You can now self-refer your child into this service. For more information please view this guide on how to self refer.

For details of what the service supports and what supporting documentation you require for your referral, please view the request criteria page.

What is the process?

Location of Centres

We will arrange to see you at a location convenient to you or near to your home, which may or may not be listed below. You should not visit the locations below unless we have sent you an appointment and requested that you do. If you need help please contact us using the number on this page.

Contacts

Children and Family Health Devon
Single Point of Access Team
1a Capital Court
Bittern Road
Sowton Industrial Estate
Exeter EX2 7FW

t: 0330 0245 321