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» How is a visually impaired child schooled in France?

How is a visually impaired child schooled in France?

Schooling options for children with visual disabilities


According to her or his needs, a visually impaired child can be schooled in different ways in France. While the 2005 law stipulates that each disabled child can be registered at the school nearest to their home, the Committee on the Rights and Autonomy of Persons with Disabilities (CDAPH) can be led, if it judges necessary, to propose a more adapted alternative school pathway.


  • Mainstream curriculum classes (elementary school, junior high, high school) 


In this set-up, various educational, human and material adjustments can be made, such as the provision of special education and home healthcare services (SESSAD) or assistance to pupils affected by disability (AESH).


  • Specialized classes (such as localized inclusive education units - ULIS)


Partially-sighted children can be directed to specialized classes (ULIS TFV) which welcome pupils affected by visual impairment. These classes are for reduced numbers of children and benefit from a specialist teacher, so they facilitate social inclusion as well as school work.


  • Sensorial Education Institutes (IES)


These specialist medico-educational establishments welcome children for whom the mainstream educational establishment isn’t suitable. They generally include teaching in Braille and provide essential technological aids such as digital equipment or adaptive manuals.


Educational and healthcare assistance may also be offered at an IES, in order to support pupils as they learn skills for autonomy in daily life, to provide eye health monitoring or psychological support.

Accessible to partially-sighted and blind children aged from 3 to 20 years, these establishments require authorization from the french Departmental Home for Disabled Persons (MDPH) for enrollment.