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Plymouth Advisory Team for Sensory Support (PATSS)

The Council's Plymouth Advisory Team for Sensory Support Team helps children and young people with a sensory impairment by supporting and enabling independent learning and the development of appropriate life skills.

We work with children and young people from birth to 19 years who are deaf, visually impaired, deaf blind or dual sensory impaired in order to help them access the curriculum and environment at the same level as their peers.

Contacts details

Address:Ballard House
26 West Hoe Road
Telephone number: 01752 305252

What we do

The Advisory Team for Sensory Support is a small, highly qualified, and experienced team made up of two full-time specialist Teachers of Visual Impairment, two full-time specialist Qualified Teachers of the Deaf (QToD), two part-time Habilitation specialists, and a Deaf Access and Inclusion Worker. We work closely with children and young people, their families, and educational settings to provide:

  • Advice and support to understand the implications of a sensory impairment and facilitate access to learning and independence
  • Direct teaching of specialist skills, including braille, touch typing and British Sign Language (BSL)
  • Training for children and young people, parents, educational settings and other professionals
  • Assessments
    • functional hearing and vision
    • specialist equipment and access technology
    • we work with families, local health services, and educational settings to assess the individual needs of children and young people. This enables us to identify specific needs and explore the appropriate provision of specialist education equipment.  PATSS Equipment Pathway flowchart (PDF) [54KB]
  • Registration visits (visual impairment)

The Advisory Team for Sensory Support provides assessment and advice on strategies and resources to promote positive outcomes for children and young people using the Graduated Approach to Inclusion.

These additional documents set out what is expected of schools at the universal, targeted, and specialist levels and how the Plymouth Advisory Team for Sensory Support (PATSS) can support them in delivering provision for children and young people with hearing loss and visual impairments:

In addition, our role usually involves joint work with a range of other professionals, including colleagues from the Royal Eye Infirmary (REI) and Audiology Services, as well as other SEND professionals.

The Advisory Team for Sensory Support Team covers the following:

Training Offer and Support

The Advisory Team for Sensory Support works closely with children and young people, their families, and educational settings to offer a range of training courses and support. Centralised training provides an opportunity to meet people from other settings and share experiences.  Our centralised training calendars for academic year 2023-24 can be found in the Deaf Inclusion and Visual and sight impairments section.

We are also happy to discuss and provide bespoke training for settings through a planning and consultation meeting, or you can contact your link person from the Sensory Support Team.

How to request advice and support support

To access our services, a Request for More Help form will need to be completed. For education settings, this usually follows a consultation between the PATSS link person assigned to the school and the Special Educational Needs Coordinator at the school.

Download and complete the  Request for More Help form (PDF) [361KB]

Once completed, the Request for More Help form must be sent via email to 

It is essential that the Request for More Help form reflects the steps already taken, following a Graduated Approach to Inclusion.

We might not accept the request if there is insufficient evidence of needs and steps already taken.

Plymouth also has an Early Help and SEND Advice Line through which you can book a conversation with a Family Support Worker to talk about any worries or questions you may have.

Resolving disagreements, mediation and making complaints

We welcome feedback on any concerns and will respond promptly to try to discuss and plan a way forward. If there is no resolution at an initial stage, we follow Plymouth City Council policies and procedures. To get in touch, please email


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Plymouth uses an orange 'Local Offer icon' to show services that define themselves as suitable for children and young people with SEND. These are part of Plymouth's SEND Local Offer. We recommend that you contact the service provider to make sure the service is suitable for your child or young person.

Age range
  • Early Years - 0 to 5 years
  • Primary - 5 to 11 years
  • Secondary - 11 to 18 years

  • Based: Plymouth
    Must live in Plymouth or attend a Plymouth school.
    • 0 to 1 years old
    • 1 to 2 years old
    • 2 to 3 years old
    • 3 to 4 years old
    • 4 to 5 years old
    • 5 to 11 years old
    • 12 to 16 years old
    • Hearing impairments
    • Visual impairments

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