University of Edinburgh

CVI and Common Ocular Conditions

Presented on 14 December 2012

Eye Conditions and Case Studies

Evelyn Michie, Depute Headteacher
Uddingston Grammar School


Uddingston Grammar 20 Severely Visually Impaired pupils in mainstream school
Peripatetic Service All Secondary schools in North and South Lanarkshire
  0-5 years - home + nurseries in South Lanarkshire
Braille Centre Produce materials for North and South Lanarkshire pupils.
Requests from SQA for NABS in maths and science.


  • 1 Depute Headteacher
  • 1 Principal Teacher
  • 7.6 Teachers
  • 0.5 Clerical Assistant
  • 1 FTE Braille Transcription Officer
  • 22 hours Support Assistant

2012/13 - 198 young people and their familiies; 63 establishments.

What do we do?

  • Visual awareness raising with staff and pupils.
  • Adapt and prepare classroom materials in a variety of formats including Braille, large print, electronic and audio.
  • Provide classroom support and additional teaching in the Unit.
  • Advise and train pupils and staff in the use of assistive technology.
  • Teach Braille.
  • Advise and negotiate with SQA regarding alternative assessment arrangements and adapted papers.
  • Work closely with external agencies including social work, educational psychologists, careers specialists and medical professionals.
  • Work with parents as partners.
  • Coordinate the transition from primary to secondary school and from school to work or further and higher education.

Issues in Secondary school

  • Large number of pupils in corridors, lunch
  • Change of clasroom every 50 minutes.
  • Number of teachers (can be 6 teachers in a week)
  • Supply teachers
  • Additional time, reader, accommodation for exams
  • Technology - space, transport, time to learn, seating in class
  • Visual delivery of curriculum
    Powerpoint demonstrations
    cluttered and crowded textbooks
  • Fast pace of work
    Low vision aids v camera
    copying from board - change of focus - near/distance
    skimming and scanning
    catch-up after illness/operations

Social inclusion

VI pupils may require support to make friends:

  • starting from scratch - pupils not educated in home area;
  • barrier caused by support staff;
  • barrier caused by materials and equipment;
  • other pupils unsure of how to deal with differences;
  • team games in PE;
  • difficult to access after-school clubs.

Additional skills to learn

  • Braille: English, Maths, French, German, Spanish, Music codes; Braille technology,
  • Typing skills.
  • Computer shortcuts.
  • Speech and englargement software.
  • Mobility skills.

Case Study


Eye condition Uveitis, Glaucoma, Band Kertaopathy
Visual acuities 6/60 left (aided), no useful vision in right eye, N24 (at 1/3m)
Visual field binocularly constricted to 25 degrees
Colour test couldn't to Ishihara; could see blocks of colour
Mobility no confidence, slow, searching movement with feet, poor night vision, prefers empty corridors, doesn't see moving objects
Health Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
Support classroom support, lunch queue, video magnifier, LVAs, exam arrangements, Unit time
Other poor organisational, listening and social skills, low self-esteem, learning Braille


  • Vision deteriorated over summer
  • Operation re band keratopathy
  • Vision reduced to 1/60 left eye; hand movements right eye - unable to use CCTV camera
  • unable to measure near vision
  • foggy/blurred vision
  • sore joints
  • May - operation to increase and then stabilise pressure in left eye

S3 onwards

Near vision improved to N36 and continued improvement. Means she now manages N18 print or regular sized print with a magnifier.

Distance vision improved to 6/60

Transition Primary 6

  • Visual impairment Assessment Team (VIAT) meets October of P6 year - Knowetop staff share information.
  • PT with responsibility for transition visits pupil for assessment and classroom observation, meets parents, attends review meetings.
  • Pupil and parents visit UGS.
  • Inclusion Department approves application.

Transition Primary 7

  • Pupil attends Uddingston Grammar for visits with pupils from feeder primaries, eg; Library Day, Parents' Night, 2 day visits.
  • VI pupils from UGS visit Knowetop Vision Base to share experiences.
  • Equipment ordered, eg; laptops, BrailleNote, iPad.
  • Mobility training in school and surrounding area.
  • Awareness raising in feeder primary schools and with UGS teachers.
  • Transport organised.

Advice to Subject teachers

  • thick black pens for writing
  • thick, widely spaced lined paper
  • larger squares for maths, graphs
  • tactile diagrams
  • recorded materials
  • appropriate seating
  • teachers dictate as they write on the board
  • desk copies of PowerPoints
  • sharing information via memory stick
  • leave class early - corridors are empty

Classroom Support

  • copying from board
  • pace of work
  • materials in preferred medium - large print, Braille, audio, digital, adapted diagrams
  • looking up dictionary and help with visual stimulus in Modern Languages
  • practical support in Science, HE
  • map reading in Geography
  • PE - assistance with skills and alternative curriculum
  • setting up equipment
  • computer-based tasks
  • assistance with practical tasks in Science, HE, PE


Classroom support based on need

  • 2 periods in the Unit for: catch-up; technology; tests; LVA programme; improve touch typing skills; homework; advice on subject choices.
  • TVI staff deliver 2 sessions of awareness raising to S1 pupils.
  • Annual Review meeting - parents, pupil, TVI, Educational Psychologist, Consultant Paediatrician, Rehabilitation Officer, Social Worker (if involved), Pupil Support Teacher.


  • Drop one column from option choices.
  • Classroom support matched to visual needs.
  • 3 periods in Unit for catch-up, technology skills, assessments, individual tuition, homework etc.
  • S4 work experience.
  • Annual review meeting.

Additional Assessment arrangements

  • TVI staff adapt prelim exams.
  • Pupils can participate in lunchtime exam preparation provided by TVI staff.
  • Exam arrangements negotiated with SQA, eg; extra time, larger print size, reader, scribe, adaptations to questions, use of computer etc.


  • One column dropped from option choices.
  • 6 periods in Unit with a combination of specialist subject support and private study.
  • Reduction in class support in preparation for transition.
  • Appropriate exam arrangements.
  • Annual review meeting.
  • Support with UCAS, college, job applications.

Post-16 Transition Planning

  • TVI coordinates transition support.
  • Planning can begin in S3.
  • Access to Careers Officer.
  • Mobility training on public transport, routes to work etc.
  • Additional work experience.
  • Liaison with University/College/workplace.

Teenage issues - coming to terms with being visually impaired

  • Long cane training
  • Don't want to be different
  • Driving

Confidence building activities

  • Residential stay at Inverclyde National Sports Centre.
  • Football Festival.
  • Sailing, horseriding, trampolining, golf, bowls, goalball, climbing, curling (when funding available).
  • Residential stay at Auchengillan - outdoor activities and daily living skills.
  • Scottish Disability Sport - Future Talent Identification Day.

Our most famous pupil - Aileen McGlynn, Gold, silver and bronze Paralympic medals.

Our Aim - Develop skills and deliver experiences which result in confident, effective, responsible, successful adults.