Visual Impairment

An estimated 25,000 children and young people up to the age of 16 in England and Wales have a vision impairment of sufficient severity to need specialist educational support. As many as 50 per cent have additional disabilities, including some who have very complex needs. Most are born with a vision impairment. Qualified teachers of children and young people with vision impairment (QTVI) play a crucial role in the development and education of blind and partially sighted learners. Information provided by RNIB. To learn more, visit their website here.


Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), also known as dyspraxia, is a common disorder affecting fine and/or gross motor coordination in children and adults. DCD is formally recognised by international organisations including the World Health Organisation. DCD is distinct from other motor disorders such as cerebral palsy and stroke, and occurs across the range of intellectual abilities. Individuals may vary in how their difficulties present: these may change over time depending on environmental demands and life experiences, and will persist into adulthood. An individual’s coordination difficulties may affect participation and functioning of everyday life skills in education, work and employment. Children may present with difficulties with self-care, writing, typing, riding a bike and play as well as other educational and recreational activities. Information provided by The Dyspraxia Foundation. To learn more, visit their website here.


Epilepsy is a condition that affects the brain. When someone has epilepsy, it means they have a tendency to have epileptic seizures. Anyone can have a one-off seizure, but this doesn’t always mean they have epilepsy. Epilepsy is usually only diagnosed if someone has had more than one seizure, and doctors think it is likely they could have more. Epilepsy can start at any age and there are many different types. Some types of epilepsy last for a limited time and the person eventually stops having seizures. But for many people epilepsy is a life-long condition. Information provided by Epilepsy Action. To learn more, visit their website here.


Dyslexia is a hidden disability thought to affect around 10% of the population, 4% severely. It is the most common of the Specific Learning Difficulties, a family of related conditions with considerable overlap or co-occurrence. Together these are believed to affect around 15% of people to a lesser or greater extent. Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs) affect the way information is learned and processed. They are neurological (rather than psychological), usually hereditary and occur independently of intelligence. They include:

  1. Dyslexia
  2. Dyspraxia or Development Co-ordination Disorder
  3. Dyscalculia
  4. Attention Deficit Disorder
Contrary to popular misconception, Dyslexia is not only about literacy, although weaknesses in literacy are often the most visible sign. Dyslexia affects the way information is processed, stored and retrieved, with problems of memory, speed of processing, time perception, organisation and sequencing. Information provided by the British Dyslexia Association. To learn more, visit their website here.

Hearing Loss

In the UK, one or two babies in every thousand are born with a significant hearing loss. Approximately one in 1,600 children are born moderately to profoundly deaf because of a genetic cause. Deafness in young children can be associated with other medical conditions, which is a type of deafness called ‘syndromic deafness’. Cochlear implants can improve people’s ability to hear and understand speech if they can’t benefit from a hearing aid. Cochlear implants enable children who are deaf to learn language, speak intelligibly and perform better at school. Information provided by Action on Hearing Loss. To learn more, visit their website here.

Autism/ASD/The Autistic Spectrum

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others. The condition can present in a number of different ways and this is often referred to as the Autistic Spectrum. Autistic people see, hear and feel the world differently to other people. If you are Autistic, you are Autistic for life; Autism is not an illness or disease and cannot be ‘cured’, but with the right help and provision children on the Autistic Spectrum can enjoy a full and happy life, no different from any child. Often people feel being autistic is a fundamental aspect of their identity. Autism is a ‘spectrum condition’. Children are often diagnosed as being on The Autistic Spectrum depending on their particular disabilities and areas of need. All Autistic people share certain difficulties, but being Autistic will affect them in different ways. Some Autistic people also have learning disabilities, mental health issues or other conditions, meaning people need different levels of support. All people on the Autism Spectrum learn and develop well when given the right support and provision and with the right sort of support and provision, all can be assisted to live a more fulfilling life of their own choosing. Information provided by The National Autism Society. To learn more, visit their website here.