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Visual, Hearing and Multi-Sensory Impairment

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Deaf or Hearing Impaired

Almost all babies are screened for hearing impairment soon after birth as part of the NHS Neonatal Screening Programme. There are occasionally later diagnoses of permanent hearing loss.

If your child has permanent hearing loss, the ISEND Sensory Needs Service will provide you and your family with specialist help from the start.

As Hearing Impairments are often identified prior to a child starting school, referrals typically arrive directly from the health service.

Support for children with Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is available from other services, such as CLASS. Therefore, direct support is not available for this from the Sensory Needs team:

Blind or Visually Impaired

Referrals for children and young people with visual impairments also come primarily from health, although the Sensory Needs Service welcomes referrals from schools as problems are sometimes not fully evident until a child starts school.

If your child has permanent visual impairment, the Sensory Needs Service will provide you and your family with specialist help.

The Sensory Needs Service do not provide support for children whose vision is corrected with glasses, as this care is provided by opticians. The service would only be needed if there were other conditions impacting on their vision in addition to this:

Deafblind or Multi-Sensory Impaired

Deafblindness is a combination of sight and hearing loss. It affects a child’s ability to communicate, access all kinds of information, and get around. Children born with a multi-sensory impairment may also have physical or learning needs.

If your child has multi-sensory impairment, the Sensory Needs Service will provide you and your family with specialist help from the start:

Additional Help and Services

Amaze SENDIASS

Amaze SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Service) are a local charity who offer free, independent, and impartial advice for all matters relating to SEND. Contact Amaze SENDIASS:

East Sussex Local Offer directory of services

You can visit our SEND-specific online directory, hosted on East Sussex 1Space, that lists many different services both throughout the county and online. Services include advice, guidance and support groups, activities and events and mental health and wellbeing support among many other topics:

All services on 1Space have been split into categories. Once you have selected the category that you wish to visit, you can then use the filters on the left hand side to further refine your search, depending on need:

NHS - Health A to Z

While the East Sussex Local Offer aims to provide as much information as possible, there may be some conditions that aren't covered in thorough detail. The NHS website has pages that list all conditions, with information and advice on how to get extra support:


Glossary of East Sussex SEND Terms

Some of the terms used on this website are explained on our page, Glossary of East Sussex SEND Terms.

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