Working with the SASC Guidance on Visual Difficulties - June 2023 to June 2024

Working with the SASC Guidance on Visual Difficulties - June 2023 to June 2024


  • Date(s)
    29 Jun 2023 - 30 Jun 2024
  • Cost
  • Provider
  • Delivery type
  • Course level
  • Course summary

    An opportunity for diagnostic and needs assessors, SENCOs, SpLD practitioners and H.E. disability advisers to familiarise themselves with and explore the implications for screening and assessment of the June 2018 SASC guidance on SpLDs and Visual Difficulties.

  • CPD credit hours
    1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Course themes
    Reviewing principles of psychometrics, statistics, assessment and underlying theory, SpLD testing methods, interpretation, report writing, feedback and test materials
  • Audience
    Assessors, Support, Assessment centres, Training institutions
  • SASC Code


This webinar discusses the guidance for assessors and SpLD practitioners concerning how to respond to visual difficulties observed or reported during screening and assessment for a specific learning difficulty. This training explains why the guidance was written and offers an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding the respective roles of vision and SpLD practitioners.

The guidance essentially seeks to advise practitioners that to ensure the safety of clients regarding their vision, a brake had to be applied to diverse and under-scrutinised assessment practice by SpLD professionals who are not qualified, as optometrists and other vision professionals are, to assess for the possibility of and / or suggest a diagnosis of visual stress or hypersensitivity in the context of a very wide range of other visual difficulties that might explain symptoms reported and behaviours observed.   

A range of practices regarding screening and assessment for visual stress has developed within the diagnostic screening and assessment process for a specific learning difficulty. These practices have been developed in good faith by assessors keen to do the best for their clients and they have been guided by previous advice and training provided by the professional bodies in this field.  However, many of these assessment practices have tended to be used uncritically and unreflectively and this has led to ‘ X has visual stress' becoming a ubiquitous conclusion reached in many diagnostic assessment reports without adequate evidence and interpretation, and with recommendations regarding visual stress tending to suggest use of coloured overlays / filters as the only possible form of remediation.  

This training session will address these concerns and questions in detail, providing further guidance and support to SpLD practitioners interested in developing best practice. It will explain how professional dialogue and communication between vision and SpLD practitioners can enhance understanding of visual discomfort and disturbances for both groups of professionals, whilst ensuring the safety and best outcomes for any child or adult with those symptoms. 

The webinar will cover:

  • The need for guidance for SpLD (and vision) practitioners.
  • Understanding the role of vision professionals.
  • A consideration of visual stress or hypersensitivity in the context of other common visual difficulties and pathologies.
  • Working with the guidance: implications for screening, assessment practice, referral, recommendations and access arrangements.
  • Good, allowable and problematic practice – case studies.
  • Specific difficulties and case management

Learning outcomes

Participants will be able to identify how:

  • a visual difficulty might interact with a SpLD but may be unrelated to it.
  • professional practice can best support child or client safety regarding vision.
  • to develop best practice in screening, assessment, and referral.
  • to promote greater awareness amongst colleagues.

Course prerequisites

Delegates are asked to download, read and bring a copy to the training day of the SASC Guidance on SpLDs and Visual Difficulties (June 2018) available from the SASC website.