Information for families in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

Vision Support Service (VSS)

The Vision Support Service (VSS) work with children and young people, from birth to 25 years, with moderate to profound vision impairments. 

We are a team of specialist advisory teachers, also known as Qualified Teachers of the Vision Impaired (QTVI), habilitation and mobility specialists, keyboarding tutors and a technician

We work across both Dorset Council and BCP Council areas and can offer advice and support to children and young people, families, pre-schools, schools and colleges and multi-agency and other professionals 

You should get medical advice if you have any concerns about your child's vision. We cannot provide diagnosis.

View all details
Venue/Contact Details
Education and Learning
County Hall
Colliton Park
Area coverage
Pan Dorset
See Journey Planner on the right-hand side of this page, where you can view bus, car and train routes from your location.
  • Wheelchair Accessible
Times and Costs
Opening times:
Monday to Thursday 8:40am - 5:20pm. Friday 8:40am - 4pm.
Further opening details:
  • Afternoon
  • Morning
  • Daily
  • All Year Round
This is a free service.
Ages, Booking Details and Referral Information
From 0 years to 25 years
Referral process:
  • This is a peripatetic service delivered either at the home or school setting. Main administrative offices are accessible.
SEND Local Offer SEND

The Vision Support Service (VSS) provides specialist support and advice to families, schools and settings to meet the needs of children and young people with vision impairment. The Team consists of Advisory Teachers who all hold an additional specialist qualification, a Children’s Mobility Officer, a specialist ICT Technician and Tutors of touch typing and keyboard skills. The Team work in homes, pre-schools, mainstream and special schools to enable access to the curriculum and encourage personal independence of children and young people with vision impairment. Staff in VSS can explain the visual condition and its impact on learning and development give advice on sensory stimulation for pre-school children and advise teachers about learning and teaching strategies to support inclusion across all key stages.


Following a functional vision assessment mild vision impairment may have minimal impact on learning and might require monitoring by VSS with written advice to the school or pre-school setting. A severe or profound loss of vision may require direct specialist teaching support such as Braille, mobility and independence skills and touch typing with close liaison with school staff and other agencies.


A request for involvement form seeks Parental consent before the service can be accessed. Medical information will be sought from eye health professionals after a referral has been made to the service.Eligibility Criteria developed by the National Sensory Impairment Partnership (NATSIP) are used to determine the level of involvement of the VSS Team with the child or young person.A charge is not usually made for this service but input requested by independent schools or a range of specialist settings would incur a cost.


Young people who move to local further education Colleges will continue to have access to VSS.  Liaison with Adult Sight and Hearing Services will assist in a smooth transition for young people when they require adult support.