We Are Vestibular Interdisciplinary

Working Group

Disseminating knowledge and resources to people involved in the vestibular rehabilitation pathway.


VIWG - What are our core values?

We are an organisation of professionals involved in neurorehabilitation with a focus upon empowering clients to participate more fully in independent living.

Our aim is to enable this to occur by the provision of resources, freely available to others, and by collaboration and education within and beyond our organisation.


Our Current Projects

The organisation is comprised of professionals working across a range of settings and locations throughout the UK. There is a mixture of clinicians and academics, which adds richness to the conversation and outputs. The group has in excess of 25 professionals from the fields of audiovestibular medicine, behavioural optometry, case management, clinical and neuro psychology, music therapy, neurology, occupational therapy, personal training, physiotherapy, social work and speech and language therapy,

We currently have three projects underway, led by different members of the core committee.

1. Lived Experience Case Studies – lead by Dr Richard Coates, Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist

  • To create a repository of video client stories relaying their day-to-day experience of living with a vestibular disorder

2. Vestibular Disorders and Functional Communication Skills Survey – lead by Dr Sylvia Taylor-Goh, Consultant Speech and Language Therapist

3. Vestibular Screening Tool – lead by Sandy LeBlanc, Consultant Occupational Therapist

  • To create an ecological and clinically appropriate vestibular screening tool for case managers and other health professionals to use when assessing people with brain injury.
  • The tool will include a range of behavioural, cognitive, communication, physical and visual symptoms.


We Are Passionate

Below there is further information about each of the VIWG team and their relevant backgrounds and experience.

Sally De La Fontaine - MCSP

Specialist Neuro Physiotherapist

Sally is a Physiotherapist and opened her own purpose built rehabilitation clinic, Milestones, in 2004. Sally uses a problem-solving approach to the management and treatment of neurological patients and has a special interest in vestibular and acquired brain injury rehabilitation, following the psycho-social model of rehabilitation – the idea that through engagement in physical, psychological and social processes, people can learn to live a life which is not dominated by their disability.

Dr Peter Savundra - BM BCh, MA (Oxon), MSc, DCH, FRCP

Consultant Audiovestibular Physician

Peter is a Consultant Audiovestibular Physician at 150 Harley Street and at the Portland Hospital, London. He deals with dizziness and balance issues, gait and falls prevention, hearing issues and tinnitus, and the educational, emotional and social impacts of these conditions.

He sees the full range of patients from the newborn to the elderly. He develops precise diagnostic formulations and works with specialist teams and the individual to empower the individual to improve participation in normal life. His career interest has been adult and paediatric rehabilitation and rehabilitation to exploit neuroscience and technology to optimise outcomes.

Owen Leigh - BSc (Hons)

Lead Behavioural Optometrist, Owen Leigh Optometry

Owen Leigh is one of the most experienced Developmental/Behavioural Optometrists in the UK. He established The Vision Therapy Clinic in 1994 to meet the particular needs of children and adults with Specific Learning Difficulties. He now works with a wide range of complex vision difficulties assisting physiotherapists, psychologists and specialist teachers (amongst others). This has resulted in a wide range of assessment and enhancement techniques.

Dr Richard Coates - PsychD

Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist and a Chartered Clinical Psychologist

Richard is on the Specialist Register of Clinical Neuropsychologists and is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

He completed his doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Surrey and a Diploma in Applied Clinical Neuropsychology at the Institute of Psychiatry.

Upon qualification, Richard worked at the renowned Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, Putney, London. He worked with highly complex cases and developed a hands-on, person-centred, interdisciplinary approach to neurorehabilitation, working jointly with other professions. Richard has extensive community rehabilitation experience, having worked with the Community-Based Neurological Rehabilitation Team (West Berkshire) and Headway Thames Valley, providing expert neuropsychological rehabilitation to people in their homes, communities and places of work.

Richard brings Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and ProSocial collaboration into his work. He loves connection, learning and creativity.

Sandy LeBlanc - BSc (Hons)

Managing Director and Consultant Occupational Therapist at Neuro Rehab Works

I have over 20 years experience working in neuro-rehabilitation, training in Australia and moving to London in 2006. My experience spans across sectors, including Acute Neurology, Specialist Inpatient Neuro-rehabilitation centres, Community Rehabilitation, Specialist Case Management and Medico-Legal work. I keep up with research in neurology and neuro-rehab, and participate in continued professional development activities.After juggling a few roles, including a navigator role in the beloved NHS, I have decided to focus my energy on private practice (big call I know, hope to go back one day in some way…will always respect what the NHS can offer and will always advocate for better pathways and services for people with neurological conditions!).I founded Neuro Rehab Works and work as a Consultant OT, providing specialist neuro-rehab and vocational rehab for people with neurological conditions in the community. I also complete medico-legal quantum reports for Somek & Associates.I think my experience gives me a real advantage and a holistic view of what is going on in the world of neuro-rehab. My passion is one constant – I love what I do.

Dr Sylvia Taylor-Goh - BSc, MSc, PhD, MRCSLT

Consultant Speech and Language Therapist / Director of Research

Consultant Speech and Language Therapist, Relational Communication Practice Ltd, 10 Harley St, London, W1G 9PF, UK
Director of Research, Sensory Integration Education, The Old Mill, 61 Reading Rd, Pangbourne, Reading, RG8 7HY, UK

Sylvia is a speech and language therapist who specialises in providing therapeutic intervention and expert witness opinions for young people and adults with communication and swallowing difficulties after an acquired brain injury. She is a sensory integration advanced practitioner and has a particular interest in the impact of sensory processing difficulties with non-verbal individuals, the impact of vestibular and interoceptive disorders upon communication and development of clinical reasoning and decision-making skills in pre and post registration clinicians.

In her Director of Research capacity, she works closely with the College of Health, Wellbeing and Life Sciences at Sheffield Hallam University.