University of Edinburgh

Introduction to Visual Impairment and Autism in children and young people

Presented on Tuesday, 7th October, 2014


This one-day course described of the nature of autism; the research concerning the co-occurrence of visual impairment and autism; and the developmental setback in visually impaired infants.

It included a demonstration of the guidance for practitioners developed by the Visual Impairment and Autism Project and discussion of the areas covered: underlying principles, learning, the environment, communication, sensory needs, wellbeing, mobility and independence, and music.

"I have a much better understanding of autism and can relate to case study examples to my own practice. I will use some guidance when interacting with children with autism."

"I will re-think practice with students with autism (and some of those who don't have a diagnosis!)"

Target Audience

Practitioners working with children and young people who are blind or partially sighted, including teachers, teaching assistants, care workers, habilitation/mobility officers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, and educational psychologists. This course is also valuable to those working with adults who have both visual impairment and autism.


Ian Bell, Independent Specialist Speech & Language Therapist (formerly Leader of the Visual Impairment & Autism Project)