Parents Section

The Visual Support Service is one of

North Tyneside’s services for

children and young people


Who are the team?


Kate Nesbitt, Qualified teacher for the visually impaired.

Karyn Thompson, Qualified teacher for the visually impaired.

Ken Finn, MSI Teacher (in training).

We are all teachers who have worked in schools.  We have specialist skills, knowledge and qualifications in the area of visual impairment.

Michelle Chapman, Mobility and Independence Officer.

Joanne Forster, Specialist Support Assistant.

Suzanne Monaghan, Administrative and Specialist Technical Assistant.


How we can help your child?

Just diagnosed with a visual impairment



We can visit you and you child either at home or any other suitable place.

We will always try to establish your child’s functional vision (how they see best) through play and differing light densities and talking to you.

From our observations we can offer you advice and support.


School age

We find out how your child sees best (Functional Visual Assessment), their best size of print, the colour of paper that shows writing best, the type of lighting that suits your child best, where your child should sit in your classroom.


  • We use this information to work in partnership with your child’s teachers to make learning easier for you.
  • If your child has support in their lessons we work with them so they know how best to help.
  •  Your child can tell us any worries they have about school and if they would like us to we will work with staff in their school to try and sort things out.
  • We can teach Braille if your child cannot see to read or produce print.
  • We can teach your child to touch type.
  • We can teach your child how to find their way round school safely and how to get to school if they live nearby.
  • We can suggest special equipment that might help in school and at home with their school work.
  • We can talk to their class to help their friends and classmates to understand what your child can see.
  • We give extra help when your child changes schools.


We always try to help your child be as independent as possible so that they can do things by themselves.