a better education for visually impaired children



A request under the Freedom of Information Act to the Merton Borough Council for a list of mainstream primary and secondary schools in the borough with facilities for the visually impaired drew the following response:

Merton has a corporate access policy which makes provision for all, including the visually impaired. This policy informs schools' individual Access Plans. Schools are required to draw up their individual plans having undertaken an audit of needs to undertake reasonable adjustments. Schools are responsible for the more minor costs of adaptation to the buildings or the purchase of special furniture and equipment. The more expensive building works are financed by the authority under an annual programme of school access improvements. Priorities for this programme are informed by an annual update from works identified in Schools' Access Plans.

The needs of pupils with visual impairment would be assessed on an individual basis and the necessary provision made to meet these individual needs as and when necessary. Support can be in the form of:

a) Supplying equipment e.g. laptops with magnification aids, tough typing software, speech and magnification software etc.

b) Training/INSET - whole school, individual learning support assistants, single event or ongoing.

c) Adapting resources e.g. Brailling books, other tactile adaptations, enlarging etc, and demonstrating same.



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