All early years’ providers and educational institutions have a duty under the Equality Act 2010, to make reasonable adjustments, including the provision of auxiliary aids and services for children and young people with SEND to prevent them being put at substantial disadvantage, discriminated against, harassed or victimised. This requires thought to be given, in advance, to what disabled children and young people might require and what adjustments are needed to prevent that disadvantage. (Code of Practice, Section 6, page 98)
Many children and young people with vision impairment (VI), hearing impairment (HI) or a multi-sensory impairment (MSI) will require specialist equipment to access their learning, or habilitation support.
Specialist equipment is the type of equipment which would not ordinarily be available in the school or early years setting. This will typically include items such as:
- Specialist seating and standing equipment (these items will be prescribed by a specialist physiotherapist or occupational therapist)
- Specialist communication aids
- Toilet aids, hoists, slings, freestanding height adjustable changing tables
- Sensory equipment such as radio aids or portable sound field systems and Perkins or electronic braillers or Braille notes
Some children and young people with a physical disability (PD) require additional ongoing support and equipment.
Consultations with school SENCOs is recommended in the first instance to advise what is available through school funding or services such as Advisory Education Services.
This list provides some information for those seeking additional equipment funding: