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Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

Tips to support remote learning for students with sensory impairments

The past year has seen the delivery of education change dramatically. Schools and settings have risen to the challenge to ensure that children and young people have been able to continue to learn whether in school or at home.

Our advisory team will continue to support the education of children and young people with sensory and physical difficulties whether they are in school or working remotely at home.

If you require help to access the curriculum, modify resources or need support to maintain specialist equipment please contact your advisory teacher. You can also contact the team at

Below we have provided some tips and collated a number of resources that you can download to help you ensure that children and young people with sensory impairments continue to make progress.

Online learning

  • Can the child or young person (CYP) access the technology? This may require some pre-prepared instructions to facilitate inclusion.
  • Use precise language such as “The box on the top left hand side of the page has the task outline.”
  • Make sure that you don’t stand with light behind you – this will reduce you to a shadow and make lipreading difficult. Turning and talking whilst writing on the whiteboard also makes it difficult for sensory impaired students to follow the lesson narrative.
  • Use names. This will help sensory impaired students know who is talking.
  • Ensure that resources displayed are in an appropriate font, print size and have good contrast. Use a dark pen.
  • Keep worksheets clear and uncluttered; keep drawings, tables and graphs as simple as possible.
  • Ensure support staff have time to modify materials before the lesson and that they are sent to the student beforehand.
  • Give extra time, if needed, for sensory impaired learners to process information and complete tasks.
  • Think about videos clips – are they accessible? Can they be sent before the lesson?
  • Think about how you will give feedback on completed tasks?
  • Ensure that CYP has the opportunity to talk through a task or know how to ask for help.
  • Offer to help CYP organise their learning to achieve success.

For all tasks

  • Can the task be completed independently?  This is particularly relevant if a child or young person is normally supported by school staff. Does the task need to be broken down into smaller steps to ensure success?
  • Think of the pre-teaching that may need to be in place before a task can be completed. For example, money. VI students need to learn the characteristics of each coin such as milled edge etc before they can begin to understand the value of each coin and so on
  • Ensure diagrams/ photos are simple and uncluttered
  • Check the understanding of new terminology.
  • Remember parents and carers may have other children or work to attend to.


Devon Graduated Response

The Graduated Response Tool has been developed to support Devon schools. The tool outlines some of the practices and adaptations that are part and parcel of Quality First Teaching (QFT): the inclusion of all pupils in high-quality everyday personalised teaching.
Devon Graduated Response

Accessing support

Schools wishing to access SEND support should complete the Request for Access form.
Request for Access