Sensory and Physical

HI, VI, Physical and Sensory.

The vast majority of HI, VI and physical needs are identified when children are very young, even before school age.  A handful develop as the result of an accident or illness.  And a handful are degenerative, meaning that they may start off without difficulties but needs manifest over time.

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HI and Deaf

Hearing difficulties are very definitely hidden.  Unless a child wears a hearing aid or other supporting device you cannot tell that they have a learning need.  Hearing loss can vary from a slight loss in one ear to complete deafness to both ears.  And it can be both temporary or permanent.

I lost my hearing (total deafness) whilst at university.  Whilst one ear has recovered completely the other still has a significant loss.


 

VI and Blind

Just as with the variation in hearing loss, sight loss can be just as different.  From total blindness to being able to perceive light, from reduced fields of vision to distance of focus, from depth perception to distinguishing colour.
Wher the visual difficulty can be fully correctd by glasses (or contact lenses) it is not considered to be a visual impairment.  Where the use of those lenses improves vision but not to an acceptable standard (in other words they still need additional adaptations) then the student has a visual impairment.


 

Physical

One of the key things about physical disabilities (needs) is that there is generally another team of professionals involved.  Usually from the medical field and including members such as occupational therapy and physiotherapy or specialist nurses for various conditions.


 

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