The Visual Support Project, established in East Lothian in March 2016, is a joint venture between Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) and the Educational Psychology Service.
The project involves an initial training session with the whole nursery team to discuss how to implement and embed visuals creating an inclusive communication environment. This universal approach aims to support all children, including those with additional support needs. Once schools meet the required standards they receive the Visual Support Project Bronze award accreditation for their school.
Evaluations from school staff highlighted that consistent use of visual timetables and environmental visuals positively impacts all learners by:
- Providing reassurance and predictability
- Supporting learner engagement by promoting understanding of information and routines
- Supporting pupil independence and personal organisational skills
- Facilitating helpful discussions with parents/carers
- Promoting the inclusion of learners with ASNs
Pupils have also been part of the evaluation process and have made comments such as “Having visuals means that pupils can explain things to and help each other, without waiting for an adult to help.” “They are a really good idea for some children who need more support and it means that everyone gets the same information.”
In East Lothian we are offering this resource to local authority schools and nurseries (including partnership nurseries). For a whole school approach there is currently a cost involved in order to provide the visuals required. If you are interested in the Visual Support Project for your school/nursery or have any questions, please contact the SLT team on: 0131 446 4009 or email Laura Duncan, Speech and Language Therapist: email@example.com