Vision and Hearing Checks Comply with SEND Code of Practice
How vision and hearing screening from SchoolScreener® for Schools can ensure you are meeting the four key areas of the SEND Code of Practice.
Those working with pupils in a SEND capacity will need little introduction to the SEND Code of Practice.
That said, it is good to remember what the Code has to say in relation to ensuring that the views, wishes and feelings of the child / young person and their parents and taken into account at all times, and that it is important to help the child or young person to participate as fully as possible in decisions.
But if that child or young person has an undiagnosed sight and/or hearing problem, either as an undiagnosed part of their condition or an additional issue, how can that be achieved?
With several studies showing that up to 40% of students diagnosed with a learning disability can also be suffering from an undiagnosed visual impairment, that suggests that a large proportion of children are unable to fully take in what decisions are being discussed or understand the different options available. Therefore, there’s little hope of that child being served appropriately when it comes to the Code of Practice, even if staff are adhering to everything else by the letter.
That’s why it’s so important that all children, particularly those with Special Education Needs, are regularly checked for both vision and hearing issues.
Here is how identifying vision and hearing issues can help with each of the key areas of the SEND Code of Practice:
Communication and Interaction
Both vision and hearing are key to communicating and interacting with others, including peers and teachers, and as such, undetected issues can impact social skills development. Identifying vision or hearing deficits early can help children overcome a range of communication challenges, allowing them to voice their feelings and preferences when it comes to making decisions about their support.
Cognition and Learning
Even moderate sight or aural deficiencies can impact educational attainment, meaning SEN children are often further behind in their understanding of their situation and, therefore, less well informed than they might be when it comes to decision-making.
Social, emotional and mental health
It stands to reason that youngsters with vision and aural issues will struggle to make social bonds, as they’re unable to fully interact with adults and peers. This will undoubtedly affect their emotional and mental health, at least until a diagnosis is reached. Once these kids can interact socially, they can communicate their feelings and allow themselves to be heard.
Sensory and/or physical needs
Again, it seems obvious that if a child / young person cannot experience sound or vision fully their sensory needs are being neglected, which can lead to even slower development and exaggeration of existing SEN needs. This makes it harder still to meet all their needs adequately.
Additional testing is NOT another constraint on SEND resources
In-school vision and hearing checks are now quick, easy and inexpensive, thanks to SchoolScreener for Schools. Any team member can set-up and use it with just 30minutes online training.
Designed specifically to enable school staff, without clinical knowledge to quickly check children, SchoolScreener for Schools supports inclusion by ensuring no child’s learning or social development is affected by unidentified vision or hearing problems.
Using these checks with students who already have Special Education Needs means that their needs aren’t further impacted by unidentified vision and hearing issues, removing one significant obstacle to observing the SEND Code of Practice.