Children and young people with a visual impairment

The following services and facilities are available at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) for children and young people with visual impairment. Please let us know whether your child has any additional needs in advance so that we can make preparations. 

What we mean by visual impairment?

Two in every 1,000 (0.2%) children and young people up to the age of 25 in the UK have vision impairment of any degree. Six in every 10,000 children have severe visual impairment. 
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Examples of conditions that may result in visual impairment include:
• Retinal dystrophy
• Eye malformations
• Cataracts
• Optic nerve damage
• Retinopathy of prematurity 
• Optic nerve hypoplasia and septo-optic dysplasia 
• Damage to the brain

Services at GOSH for children with a visual impairment

Some of our children and young people have some degree of visual impairment and services that offer support include:

Eye Clinic Liaison Service - Practical information, advice and support on many aspects of visual impairment is available from the Eye Clinic Liaison Officer who is based within the Ophthalmology (Eye) Clinic. You can telephone her on 020 7405 9200 extension 0345, email her or visit her during your admission or appointment at GOSH. 

Developmental Vision Clinic – This clinic is for assisting the vision, development, behaviour and learning of children with severe visual impairment. After assessment of vision and development, the team will provide detailed information of your child’s current progress and make practical recommendations to help your child at home or school. For further details about the clinic, please visit their website or call them on 020 7405 9200 extension 1142.

Resource directory – The UCL Institute of Child Health in collaboration with GOSH has produced a directory of resources for children and young people with visual impairment. It is available in various formats from our website 

Further information and support

Note: Inclusion in this list does not constitute endorsement by GOSH. For details of other support organisations, please visit the Contact a Family website or call their helpline on 0808 808 3555.

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is the UK’s leading charity for people with vision loss. Visit their website or call their helpline on 0303 123 9999 (Monday to Friday from 8.45am to 5.30pm). 

Action for Blind People provides practical and emotional advice and support across England to people who are blind or partially sighted and their friends and family. Visit their website or call their helpline (run jointly with RNIB) – details above. 

The Royal London Society for Blind People (RLSB) offers support to children and young people with visual impairment living in London and South-East England. Call them on 020 3198 0225 or visit their website 

Blind Children UK (formerly the National Blind Children’s Charity) also offer support to children and young people with visual impairment. Call their helpline on 0800 781 1444 or visit their website