Sensory Support Services

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

  • 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
  • Auxiliaries experienced in working with pupils with a hearing or visual impairment

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 five
  • In a playgroup or nursery
  • In a local authority school (mainstream or special)

What do we do?

  • Assess a child’s hearing or vision and then offer recommendations on how the child’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 pupil’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

Tel: 01224 744 786
Fax: 01224 743 568

Or email the Sensory Support Service at sensory


Adult assisting deaf boyWill 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. Very occasionally that is not possible and we work with the parents to find suitable provision. This might be a special school within Aberdeenshire or within another authority.

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 visual impairment and is about to choose his 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 visual impairment so how can I be sure that they 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.


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