Sensory Support Services

Girl reading braille

Aberdeenshire Sensory Support Service is a peripatetic service staffed by:-

  • Teachers who specialise in working with pupils with a hearing or visual impairment
  • Communicators qualified and experienced in using either British Sign Language or Braille


Who do we work with?

When do we become involved?

Where do we provide support

What do we do?

How do we do it?

Contact us


Visual Support Leaflet

Hearing Support Leaflet

Visual and Hearing Support Poster

Preparing for a Home Visit

Sensory Support Services privacy notice

BSL Service Booklet (video)

Who do we work with?

  • Babies, children and young people with a hearing or visual impairment until they reach school leaving age
  • Parents and carers
  • Staff in schools
  • Other agencies e.g. Health , Social Services
  • Voluntary organisations

When do we become involved?

  • Within weeks of a diagnosis of hearing/visual impairment being made
  • When a referral is made by a hospital specialist, a parent/carer, school or other professional

Where do we provide support?

  • In the home if the child is under three
  • In a playgroup or nursery
  • In a local authority school (mainstream or special)

What do we do?

  • Assess a childā€™s hearing or vision and then offer recommendations on how the childā€™s needs can best be met
  • Provide information, practical help, and advice
  • Provide support in the use of specialist resources to promote independence
  • Support the development of language and communication skills in pupils with a hearing impairment
  • Advise and support staff in how to promote inclusion
  • Work alongside teachers where pupils use Sign to communicate
  • Work alongside teachers where pupils use Braille
  • Organise mobility training for pupils with severe visual impairment
  • Monitor a pupilā€™s progress and provide reports
  • Attend meetings to review progress and plan for the future

How do we do it?

  • by supporting within the classroom
  • by working one-to-one with a pupil outwith the classroom
  • by liaising closely with staff in schools and with other agencies
  • by liaising closely with parents or carers
  • by keeping abreast of innovations and current legislation
  • by promoting professional development amongst staff

Contact us:-

Sensory Support Service
Aberdeenshire Council
Westhill Academy
Hay’s Way
AB32 6XZ

Telephone: 01467 539515

Or email the Sensory Support Service atĀ


Adult assisting deaf boy

Will my child, who is deaf, be able to attend a mainstream school?

In line with legislation, Aberdeenshire Council makes every effort to meet the needs of the vast majority of children within their local school.Ā  Very occasionally that is not possible and we work with the parents to find suitable alternative Ā provision elsewhere.

Can support be provided if my child attends a private nursery or school?

While your child is in pre-school we can support him/her as private nurseries work in partnership with the Authority. However, once your child starts private school, input from the Sensory Support Service will stop.

Will my child be seen by your service during the holidays?

This is something which is under review and may not change in the next few years but, until then, unfortunately your child will only be supported by us during term-time.

My son has a visualĀ impairmentĀ and is about to choose hisĀ Standard Grade subjects. Is there anything he won’t be able to take?

No. He should choose what he wants or what he needs to study, the same as everyone else. It should be possible to make adjustments to allow him to access any subject. However, some subjects will prove more difficult than others so it would be wise to take advice on what adjustments would need to be made as this might affect his final decision.

My son’s class goes on an outward bound course at the end of P7. His teacher is very keen to include him but he has a severe visualĀ impairmentĀ so how can I be sure that theyĀ are fully aware of his needs?

The authority only uses fully accredited centres and many of them are experienced in working with children with a range of disabilities. Your son’s school will provide the centre with information on his specific needs and they will work together to produce risk assessments for the activities. Once they have reached this stage in the planning, they will contact you to discuss everything.

Information on

Physical adjustments

Improving Access to the School Environment & to Communication for Parents & Visitors


Visual Impairment Network for Children and Young People

What is VINCYP?

VINCYP (Visual Impairment Network for Children and Young People) is a nationally managed clinical network which aims to improve service provision and outcomes for children and young people with visual impairment in Scotland through co-ordination and improvement of all services across health, education, social work and voluntary organisations

VINCYP Information Collection

When you attend an eye clinic or see your Paediatrician, you may be asked to allow VINCYP to collect and store information about you/your child, and to share it with other professionals involved in providing care such as your visual impairment teacher. This helps us to ensure that the people working with you/your child have accurate information about your/their vision . It also means that if, in the future, a new treatment becomes available, that we can quickly identify people who may benefit from it.

The information overall, not identifying any individual, can help in the planning of services across Scotland.

All services across Scotland will use the one system to store your information. This system is run by the NHS and only certain NHS staff can access it

On the VINCYP website,, you can find the following:

  • Information on conditions
  • Family support group information
  • Standards and pathways of care
  • Videos of going to the eye clinic
  • Why we ask for your information and how it can help


If someone under 16 years of age has a level of sight loss that as an adult would have led to certification as sight impaired or severely sight impaired you will be asked if you want to have information entered on the VINCYP system. You will also be given a letter stating the level of sight loss and that the child or young person has a sight loss sufficient that they could receive a Blue Badge.Ā  This letter is proof of the level of sight loss and can be used to access some benefits including the Blue Badge, Travel pass, Taxi card.