The sensory and communication support service supports children who are deaf, vision impaired, have a communication and interaction difficulty or a multisensory impairment.
The service is hosted by Torfaen County Borough Council on behalf of neighbouring authorities Newport City Council, Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, Caerphilly County Borough Council and Monmouthshire County Council, employing specialist teams to offer help and support.
ComIT (Communication Intervention Team)
ComIT is a school-based service to help children and young people aged 3 to 13 years with a non-clinical diagnosis of speech, language and communication need that is severely affecting the child’s learning.
ComIT can work individually or with groups of children - a child does not have to hold a statement of Special Educational Needs to access the service - and provides:
- advice and information on aspects of speech and language
- solutions, resources and strategies through individual and group work
- liaison with other professionals including speech therapy
- training for school staff to build capacity
Requests for ComIT to work with a child will come from a local authority.
Hearing impaired service
The hearing impaired service aims to help children and young people with an identified hearing loss to achieve their potential and acquire life skills.
The service advises schools on communication skills, language development and managing hearing impaired children and provides guidance and support to their families.
Children may be referred by the health service or by schools which are concerned about a pupil's learning.
After referral one of the advisory team will offer a home visit to parents and then go into school to see the pupil and decide on appropriate support.
The service can also provide radio aids and sound field amplification systems where appropriate.
Vision impairment service
The Vision Impairment Service (VIS) supports children and young people with vision impairment or multi-sensory impairment to achieve their potential in their local schools alongside siblings and friends.
Pre-school programmes are delivered in pre-school settings, at the VIS centre or at home.
The service welcomes enquiries and referrals from anyone involved with children and young people who may have concerns regarding a possible visual or dual sensory loss.
When a request is received, one of the specialists in the team will assess the child's needs and discuss the results with parents, education and medical professionals to see if there are any additional concerns or needs.
A decision will then be made about whether support is needed, which will vary according to the needs of each child, ranging from weekly support to fulltime classroom support for a child who uses Braille in school.
- help and advice from birth
- a weekly group for pre-school children
- informal contact for parents and carers to help relieve isolation
- advice on educational placements
- mobility and sighted-guide training
- provision and maintenance of specialist equipment
- liaison with other statutory and voluntary organisations
- realistic and achievable learning objective setting
- assessment of children’s strengths and individual needs
- links with other agencies
- school support for the child or young person
- opportunities for children and young people to have social contact with others with similar needs
- sport and leisure activities, holiday schemes, music and social events
- after school clubs and holiday clubs
- open days and parents/carers meetings
Sensory and Communication Support Service, Brecon House, William Brown Close, Llantarnam Industrial Park, Cwmbran NP44 3AB
Email: VIS@torfaen.gov.uk or telephone (01633) 648888