WESC Foundation - The Specialist Centre for Visual Impairment

Specialist college supporting students with visual impairment and other Learning Difficulties and additional/complex needs.
Outdoor green space at the WESC Foundation campus
The logo of WESC Foundation - The Specialist Centre for Visual Impairment S41 status


WESC Foundation - The Specialist Centre for Visual Impairment
Topsham Road
  • Course Length (weeks):
    38 or 52
  • Residential or Day:
    Residential and day
  • Start Time:
  • Maximum Number of Students:
  • Age Range:
    16 – 25



General Description

Young people and adults at WESC Foundation will experience a broad and balanced range of services across Education, Residential, Therapy and Mobility, with a specialist visual impairment approach within our day and residential provision.

Catchment Area



WESC Foundation provides an individualised curriculum for young people and adults with visual impairment (VI). The WESC curriculum offer focuses on supporting students through five key areas of learning:

  • Communication (Speaking, Listening, Reading, Writing, Language Development and Access and Assistive Technology),
  • Wellbeing (Physical Activity, PSHE and RSE)
  • Curiosity and Creativity (The World Around Us, Music, Drama, Art, Radio, Horticulture)
  • Community (Work Experiences, Employability, Citizenship, Hobbies and Leisure)
  • Everyday life (Numbers and Problem Solving, Daily Living Skills, Mobility)

The WESC Foundation College Curriculum offers the following:

  • Specialist VI approach to curriculum for all students
  • Programmes built around the needs of students who are working below the national curriculum standards for their age
  • Programmes for students with Learning Disabilities and additional /complex needs
  • Access to accredited academic and vocational courses if appropriate
  • Outreach VI Services for students and teachers in mainstream schools, colleges and FE providers
  • Appropriate work experience and supported internships in conjunction with education provision

Specialist Facilities

Facilities at WESC Foundation are accessible to all and include; swimming pool, hydro pool, trampoline, cycles and trikes, sensory garden, gym, forest school, Discovery Garden, 10 acre horticulture site, sports and many other activities linked to their individual programme of development and mobility. 

Enrichment activities such as trips to the beach, wheelchair dancing, Jubilee Challenge on Dartmoor, tenpin bowling, horse riding, sailing, and residential trips are fun and meaningful experiences which young people are encouraged to access to support their development.

Other Information

Another aspect of WESC Foundation offer is a successful social enterprise provision, which gives students access to learning and work experiences in five charity shops and at two horticulture projects. There are also supported internships and other work experience placements across a range of industries.

  • > Our expertise

    We have expertise in meeting the needs of students with:

    • Expertise in meeting the needs of students who are blind or visually impaired
    • Multi-sensory impairment
    • Expertise in meeting the needs of students who have specific learning difficulties
    • Communication difficulties
    • Profound and multiple learning difficulties
    • Severe learning difficulties
    • Moderate learning difficulties
    • A wide range of physical disabilities
    • Acquired brain injury
    • Autism spectrum disorder
    • Epilepsy and/or associated neurological conditions
    • Expertise in meeting the needs of d/Deaf students
  • > Our curriculum

    We offer:

    • A programme to help students to look after themselves more independently
    • Opportunities to improve literacy, numeracy and/or communication skills
    • Comprehensive support in the learning and use of Braille and/or Moon
    • Opportunities to experiment with sound, touch, smell and sight in order to aid learning
    • Opportunities for work experience
    • A transition programme into independent living
    • Opportunities to take part in a wide range of social, leisure and sporting activities
    • Opportunities to experience real work situations
    • Opportunities to explore a range of living options after college
    • A programme to enable students to learn more about themselves and how to form relationships
    • Opportunities to use and develop information technology skills
    • Opportunities to follow vocational courses
    • Opportunities to follow vocational qualifications
    • A specialised land-based curriculum
    • A personal development programme
    • A social skills programme
    • Opportunities to improve and develop communication skills through the use of Alternative and Augmentative Communication aids
    • Opportunities for students to participate in community activities and to learn about citizenship
    • A transition programme into supported or open employment
    • Opportunities to prepare for further training after college
    • Opportunities to develop strategies to promote appropriate behaviour
    • Opportunities to prepare for work after college
    • Opportunities to improve communication skills such as the use of Makaton, Bliss, symbols or objects of reference
    • A hospitality and catering curriculum
  • > Our specialist services

    • Extensive use of assistive and adaptive technologies
    • In-house speech and language therapy
    • A range of therapeutic services
    • In-house physiotherapy
    • In-house occupational therapy
    • Specialist orientation and mobility training to enable independent travel
    • Waking night residential staff
    • Registered with the Care Quality Commission / Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales
    • Residential provision extending beyond the academic year
    • Residential provision linked to the academic year
    • In-house nursing services
    • Help with finding suitable long term provision
    • Specialist training to enable independent travel
    • Sessions to improve posture and mobility
    • Specialist staff to meet personal care requirements
    • In-house medical provision

Prospectus Request

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The S41 symbol next to most of the colleges in the directory means that they are on the Secretary of State’s Approved List.

This list, developed as part of the Children and Families Act 2014, means that some parts of the Act apply to these independent institutions. This includes specialist colleges.