Mobility and Independence

Mobility and Independence provision to

Children with a visual impairment.




North Tyneside has a well established Sensory Team which meets the needs of babies, children and young people with hearing and vision difficulties.  We provide individual teaching in orientation, mobility skills and the use of Low Vision Aids.

The Mobility and Independence Officer

The Mobility and Independence officer works as part of  the Sensory Support Service and is available to children from birth to 19 years who have a significant visual impairment.  The mobility officer provides advice, information, assessment and practical support to home, school, play groups and nursery placements alongside working with specialist teaching staff.

What does the Mobility and Independence officer  do:

  • Provides 1:1 teaching with regard to skills such as orientation/mobility.
  • Advises school staff in relation to the child’s specific mobility and/or independence needs.
  • Works with teachers, SENCOs and other professionals in school.
  • Identifies and provides specialist equipment and relevant training if needed.
  • Provide specific advice regarding the child’s access needs in relation to the building and general environment.
  • Provides instruction and support in the development of skills enabling use of public transport.
  • Introduces and develops a range of independent living skills such as cooking, cleaning and shopping.
  • Develops and introduce social skills.
  • Introduces and extends the use of techniques which maximise the uses of sensory information.
  • Assists in the transition at each stage of education.
  • Assists in performing functional assessments of vision.
  • Provides reports and advice to Annual Reviews and other meetings.
  • Acts as an advocate for the needs of the student.
  • Ensures good home/school liaison.

Working in Partnership

Working in partnership is an integral and essential part of the role and so may work with the following on a regular basis:

  • Parents
  • Ophthalmology Department
  • Early years and educational settings
  • Speech and Language therapy
  • Mental Health
  • Voluntary/charitable organisations who work with visually impaired children
  • Educational psychologists
  • Social care
  • General practice
  • Occupational Therapist/physiotherapists
  • Connexions—career service
  • Voluntary agencies.

Working with children and families is at the core of the work

As a service we aim to:

  • Develop positive relations with parents and carers
  • Provide a range of clear impartial information and advice
  • Facilitate informed choice
  • Provide information regarding educational provision
  • Support and enable the family and child to express their views
  • Provide relevant and appropriate support
  • Accompany parents and child to ophthalmology appointments at hospital if requested.
  • Provides 1:1 home teaching to pre school children


Michelle Chapman, Mobility and Independence Officer