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Vision Impairment Support

Established for over 30 years, the Joseph Clarke Educational Service supports children with vision impairment, their families and schools in Waltham Forest, Redbridge, Barking & Dagenham and Enfield. We have an open referral system. Within Waltham Forest we work as part of the unified service called SENDsuccess.  

Our team is here to help and is comprised of:

  • An experienced team of teachers with specialist qualifications in vision impairment, including Braille
  • An ICT Manager
  • A Mobility Officer
  • Dedicated administration support

We work with children and young people aged from 0 – 19 and developing a partnership with families, schools and other professionals is central to our work.

Our teachers

Our team of specialist teachers carry out a huge variety of work. We can:

  • Undertake assessments of functional vision following on from clinical appointments. In liaison with parents, carers and schools we establish how students can make use of the vision they have
  • Develop programmes for parents and carers to use at home, or for use within pre-school and schools to encourage students to develop their functional vision or to develop compensatory skills if needed
  • Develop pre-braille and braille skills with students
  • Provide advice on suitable equipment and resources. We keep up to date with developments in research, legislation, equipment and technology so we can provide the best and most up to date advice
  • Provide advice and support to those working with students with a vision impairment on how to access the curriculum within their environment
  • Provide support around examinations, for example, outline what students need and provide reports for examination boards should enlarged/amended papers be required
  • Work on a 1:1 basis with students, in groups, within the home or in schools whatever works best for the students, their families and schools. We regularly review how support is delivered and if it needs to be changed
  • Maintain established links with a range of agencies across all the boroughs we work within, and work co-operatively within a multi-disciplinary framework
  • Help run playgroups for students with vision impairments both within child development centres.
  • Attend hospital appointments by mutual agreement

Additionally, the Joseph Clarke Service offers a wide variety of education and training customised to suit the child and school. The training may be at school targeted to those staff working with students or with all staff to raise awareness of vision impairment. All-day training is also offered at the Whitefield Research & Development Centre, to provide the opportunity for those attending to learn more about vision impairment in general, eye conditions and educational implications, information technology and curriculum access. 

Our Mobility Specialist

Avril Allen, works with students, schools and families to develop mobility skills, supporting students to independently and safely access the world around them. This may include body protection, trailing, pre-cane and long cane skills. Avril can also carry out environmental audits within settings and provide training for parents and staff on sighted guide technique.

Our Information and Technology Manager

George Christou, works with students, families and schools to utilise the potential that IT has to help students access education and independence. George undertakes assessments with students to identify their needs and the most appropriate equipment to support them, such as cameras, touch screens and software. Within schools, George works with the IT Department to support the student’s access to the curriculum. This includes creating bespoke user accounts, along with utilising the latest technology including tablets, access software and magnification tools. George can also deliver training to staff and students in how to use the technology installed. Find out more

Our Administration Support

Seniz Pekkaya is the first point of contact for visitors and those contacting the Service by telephone or email. Shen ensures that enquiries are followed up and liaise between the team and parents, carers and school and produce information sheets, leaflets and reports as part of the support offered by the Service.

If you have any questions, please contact us:

Joseph Clarke Educational Service for the Vision Impaired

Macdonald Road
E17 4AZ

✆  020 8531 8361