COVID 19 – information to support families

We will be regularly updating this page of resources and information.

We are working with RNIB and NatSIP ( and other sensory impairment charities to support you during the Covid 19 crisis.

Detailed information for education professionals is now available by visiting:

Latest on school and Covid 19

From 17 May, guidance from DfE on the use of face coverings in schools has changed. Visit NatSIP’s “Guidance on face coverings in education 10 May 2021” for the latest update. Also see the blog post on face coverings produced by NDCS, which is relevant to children and young people with VI.

We’ve updated guidance that we produced jointly with NatSIP and RNIB about the return to school and how specialist support for children with VI can be provided in the context of government requirements and regulations. 

Advice and support

Support from RNIB

If you have any contributions in your area of work that you are happy to share via the repository please do get in touch with RNIB at OR VIEW at

The Council for Disabled Children FAQ – SEND support during the Coronavirus pandemic

This FAQ shares questions sent into the email inbox.

Each week the questions received are collated and shared with the Department for Education (DfE) as well as colleagues with specific areas of expertise within CDC.

Information from NDCS

A lot of the following content is applicable to VI children and young people

Information on school closures/return to school

RNIB, together with VIEW and other partners and practitioners, are in the process of collating responses from across the sector on protocols, guidance, risk assessments around the safe return to school. We are creating a repository of documents and guidance (with permission of writers) that have been created so that they are readily available for services and staff round the UK.

If you have any contributions in your area of work that you are happy to share via the repository please do get in touch with RNIB at OR VIEW at

How to support learners with VI to understand the 2 metre social distancing recommendation – adapted for learners with vision impairment by Stephanie Phillips QTVI. (Original source Phoenix Learning and Care – Speech and Language Therapy Team)

Coping with School Closures During COVID-19 – ideas and resources compiled by Paths to Literacy

Home learning support

Some of the resources shared are not specific to vision impairment, but many can be adapted. Suggestions from colleagues in the field will be very helpful! Please email

Vision Impairment

Accessible books

Accessible home learning with RNIB Bookshare Using RNIB Bookshare at home will allow learners to be independent or supported by a parent in their home learning and able to access the resources they need in a format they can read. Please make sure you add your learners (! If you have any difficulties accessing accounts, you can contact or call on tel0300 303 8313.

Audio Books – including GCSE (£20) from Calibre

Living Paintings – free tactile books

Large print books from Custom Eyes

Free books from RNIB Talking Books

A calming space – Suzanne Little and Hannah Burnley have produced a document around calming spaces for children with complex needs and VI over the COVID 19 pandemic. This can be downloaded from the VIEW website.

Online workshops for children and families

Positive Eye has compiled a page of resources to provide families with some fun ideas, activities and inspiration during the periods of time spent at home during the months of the COVID19 Epidemic.

Positive Eye’s Creative Idea Machine Online Classes


Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2020 is accepting braille entries. The competition is open to anyone aged 11-17 – deadline is midnight 31 July 2020. To enter an entry in Braille then contact

Online support and networks for children and/or families

The VICTA Parent Network – support network for parents.

Support from LOOK UK for parents

Support for learning at home

GOSH Power of Play – A treasure trove of games, tips and resources from the Play team to help your family through this worrying time.

Voice Based learning through Alexa

12 tips for keeping your VI child educated at home – Henshaws

App-tastic – VICTA Science competition with Microsoft and City, University of London. A great project for 10 to 17 year olds to get involved in while you are home schooling. Invent your own app! The competition closes at 5pm on 30 April 2020.

Teach CVI website – use the far right tab on the home page menu for lots of CVI related resources!

Doorway Online is a collection of free and highly accessible educational games that learners will find easy to use independently.

Accessibyte – Accessibyte are offering free access to its apps for blind, low vision, deaf and reading impaired students

Paths to Literacy – Pinterest Board

Meet Me Accessibly – a guide to Zoom Cloud Meetings from a blindness perspective

ObjectiveEd Offers Free Distance Learning for Students with Visual Impairments

Making play inclusive – Sense has developed a set of play toolkits for parents and professionals to provide information and advice on enabling children with complex disabilities to enjoy inclusive play.

Royal Blind Learning Hub – free braille games and worksheets.

Accessible PE at home

Audio Exercise and meditation programmes from Metro Blind Sport

British Blind Sport live audio workouts on the #StayInWorkOut facebook group

About the coronvirus

The BBC Newsround site has a comprehensive section on coronavirus with text and video guidance focusing on tips if a child is worried, how to wash your hands, and what self-isolation means.

Mencap easy read information sheet about coronavirus. This would be particularly useful for children, young people or adults whose understanding is improved when information is given in bitesize chunks.

Dave the Dog is worried about coronavirus – A book for young children to relieve fears about coronavirus. From Nurse Dotty Books

Children’s stories about COVID19

Advice from Contact, including on health, education and benefits

General learning resources

Homeschooling children with SEND UCL Institute of Education article with resources, guidance and tips with a focus on supporting wellbeing for families.

Resources collated by the Department for Education: “These websites have been identified by some of the country’s leading educational experts and offer a wide range of support and resources for pupils of all ages.”

100 Challenge Ideas for Home Learners home learning ideas and activities

Oxford Owl free ebook library as well as Biff, Chip and Kipper and Winnie the Witch, you’ll find non-fiction eBooks

Music Therapy Resources for home activities

Twinkl – free access to Twinkl resources for primary and secondary ages. Use the code: CVDTWINKLHELPS

TopMarks – “Helping teachers and parents save time finding online educational resources”

HelpKidzLearn wants to ensure that teachers and students stay connected and children continue their learning at home with minimum disruption. Website includes free access to games, many suitable for children with additional needs.

Tiny T’s Storytelling and Theatre Interactive storytelling of many children’s classics, posted live on YouTube.

BBC Teach Live Lessons for primary schools – Fun and interactive curriculum linked programmes for your classroom

BBC Teach Live Lessons for secondary schools – Fun and interactive curriculum linked programmes for your classroom

Lockdown: the best free online experiences to stave off boredom – from the Guardian – includes links to free theatre, free exercises, free art exhibitions, free language lessons, and free maths lessons

Chatter Pack – home learning resources for schools and families

Inclusive Teach – Free resources from Joe White, Assistant Headteacher of Broadstairs Special School

Sensory and messy play activities for children with additional needs

Busy Things Help children learn through play with Busy Things. Fun educational games for kids aged 3–11 on a huge range of subjects.

Music apps and interactive resources

BorrowBooks App – free eBooks and eAudiobooks .

Mumsnet round up of online learning resources

Scholastic learn at home Every day includes four separate learning experiences, each built around a thrilling, meaningful story or video.

Parliament UK – online learning resources

Audible – For as long as schools are closed, instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages.

Khan Academy – good for maths and computing for all ages but other subjects at Secondary level. Note this uses the U.S. grade system but it’s mostly common material

BBC Learning – this site is old and no longer updated and yet there’s so much still available, from language learning to BBC Bitesize for revision. No TV licence required except for content on BBC iPlayer.

Futurelearn – Free to access 100s of courses, only pay to upgrade if you need a certificate in your name (own account from age 14+ but younger learners can use a parent account)

Seneca – For those revising at GCSE or A level. Tons of free revision content. Paid access to higher level material.

Openlearn – free taster courses aimed at those considering Open University but everyone can access it. Adult level, but some e.g. nature and environment courses could well be of interest to young people.

Blockly Learn computer programming skills – fun and free.

Scratch – Creative computer programming

Ted Ed – All sorts of engaging educational videos

National Geographic Kids for primary children

Duolingo Learn languages for free

Mystery Science Free science lessons

The Kids Should See This Wide range of cool educational videos

Crash Course – You Tube videos on many subjects

Crash Course Kids As above for a younger audience

Crest Awards Science awards you can complete from home.

iDEA Awards – Digital enterprise award scheme you can complete online.

Paw Print Badges – free challenge packs and other downloads. Many activities can be completed indoors. Badges cost but are optional.

Tinkercad – all kinds of making

Cbeebies Radio listening activities for the younger ones.

Big History Project -Aimed at Secondary age. Multi disciplinary activities.

Geography Games – Geography gaming!

Zero to Three – at home activity guide for young children

Zero to Three – five tips for making the most of video chats to family and friends with young children.

Virtual tours and resources

Museums, nature and landmarks


Animals, wildlife and nature

Mental Health

Supporting children and families with bereavement during the Coronavirus