Education research

Participation of disabled children in inclusive education is now well established in policy and practice.

Evidence shows that the quality of provision is patchy, that learning materials are not consistently made available in alternative formats and that a drift towards generic services is depriving blind and partially sighted children and young people of specialist support. Research in this area includes the accessibility of exams, education attainment and provision of educational services by local authorities.

Surveys of VI services / educational provision

Local authority VI education service provision for blind and partially sighted children and young people

This report contains a summary of findings from RNIB Freedom of Information requests into education service provision for blind and partially sighted children and young people. Published 2014

RNIB survey of VI services in England and Wales 2012: Report for England

This page contains the RNIB survey of VI services in England and Wales 2012: Report for England, as well as background. Published 2012.

RNIB survey of VI services in England and Wales 2012: Report for Wales

RNIB survey of VI services in England and Wales 2012: Report for Wales. You can also find the background, key findings and research briefing here. Published 2012.

Changes to VI service staffing and provision, England and Wales Survey 2

In September 2010 RNIB Children, Young People and Families team undertook a questionnaire survey of local authority (LA) advisory services for children and young people with visual impairment (VI) in England and Wales. Published 2011.

Changes to VI service staffing and provision

RNIB survey on changes to VI service staffing and provision for blind and partially sighted children and young people in England and Wales, to ascertain whether the potential threat to VI services was isolated to a few services in a minority of LAs or was more widespread. September 2010.

RNIB survey on changes to VI service staffing and provision for blind and partially sighted children and young people in Scotland

RNIB survey on changes to VI service staffing and provision for blind and partially sighted children and young people in Scotland. Published 2011.

Educational provision

Results of an online survey of local authority Visual Impairment services in Great Britain. The aim was to ascertain the numbers and characteristics of pupils with a visual impairment and identify the type of educational and other provision. Published 2008.

General education

Sight impaired at age seven: secondary analysis of the Millennium Cohort Survey

Research report on Sight impaired at age seven: secondary analysis of the Millennium Cohort Survey. Published 2013.

Teaching STEM subjects to blind and partially sighted learners

Technical subjects such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) have often been said to be difficult for blind or partially sighted students. This literature review aims to highlight some of the specific challenges faced in these subjects, and signposts resources available to improve the accessibility of STEM subjects. Published 2013.

Attainment

Educational attainment and progress in England

Educational attainment and progress of young (primary school aged) blind and partially sighted pupils in England. Published 2010.

Educational attainment

Educational attainment of blind and partially sighted pupils is a detailed analysis of government statistics relating to educational performance. Published 2009.

Assessment

Psychometric tests for blind and partially sighted people

Psychometric or standardised tests are assessments that measure knowledge, abilities, attitudes and personality traits. They are used in education and recruitment and can consist of written, online or oral tests. Blind and partially sighted individuals are potentially disadvantaged by the use of these tests. Published 2012.

Alternative exam presentation for pupils with low vision

RNIB commissioned research on examination access by blind and partially sighted learners. Published 2010.

International exams survey

This report presents findings from two studies. Firstly, an online survey carried out in relation to accessibility of public exams. Secondly, a case study of Scottish Qualifications Authority adapted digital questions papers and their accessibility. Published 2009.

Accessibility

Exploring the need for accessible images for people with dyslexia

  • Exploring the need for accessible images for people with dyslexia. Published 2013.(Word, 148 KB)

Too little, too late

Too Little, Too Late looks at the availability of school textbooks in Braille and large print. The report aims to establish methods by which local authorities obtain books in alternative formats and identify issues of funding and sourcing of materials. Published 2006.

Braille

A review of the literature into effective practice in teaching literacy through braille

In September 2010 the RNIB Evidence and Service Impact Team presented a research brief entitled: A review of the literature into effective practice in teaching literacy through braille. A team from the Visual Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research (VICTAR) at the University of Birmingham carried out the work. Published 2011.

Teaching braille

The aim of this research was to find out the number of braillists in UK schools, where they were being educated, who was teaching them, and what type of training their teachers and support staff had received. Published 2002.

Early years and early intervention

Pathways from health to education

What integrated working practices support or hinder effective referral pathways from Health to Education services for blind and partially sighted babies and young children? Published 2009.

Early support developmental journal

This study provides a snap shot of what works for young children, families and practitioners using the Early Support Developmental Journal for babies and children with visual impairment. Published 2008.

Transition

Young people's progress and views of independence aged 16-19: Post-14 transitions support

Research report into young people's progress and views of independence aged 16-19: Post-14 transitions support. This technical report details the findings to December 2012. Published 2013.

Post 14 transitions support - a survey of the transition experience

This is the second report from a 5-year research study that is being carried out for RNIB by researchers from VICTAR (Visual Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research at the University of Birmingham. The study is following two cohorts of blind and partially sighted young people in the UK from the ages of 14 and 16 through further and higher education and training and into employment. Published 2011.

Post-14 transitions support - visiting teacher services

A survey of Post-14 transitions support - visiting teacher services. Published 2010.

Moving on

RNIB carried out research to investigate post-16 transition for young people with visual impairment in Wales. The aims of this study were to identify the factors leading to, or preventing, a successful transition from school to FE at the age of 16. Published 2004.

Out of the paddling pool

RNIB carried out case studies of five young people with visual impairment in Wales. This is the second of three research reports and gives a brief account of what happened to the young people during the next stage of transition. Published 2005.

Diverging pathways

Between 2003 and 2006, RNIB carried out case studies of five young people with visual impairment in Wales. In the final part of this project, interviews were carried out with the five respondents following transition at the age of 18. Published 2006.

Transition from secondary school to further or higher education

This the latest report from Birmingham university's longitudinal research into the transition from school into further and higher education, training and employment of blind and partially sighted young people. The findings are based on interviews in summer 2013 with 68 young people aged 17-19.

External research

In addition to the education research carried out by or on behalf of RNIB, there are some key external research reports that may be of interest.

Oversight of special education for young people aged 16-25

Earlier in the year the National Audit Office (NAO) carried out a review of education and transition of young people with SEN, which RNIB contributed to. We also encouraged young people, and professionals, to take part in the consultation. The final report is now published.

International review of the literature of evidence of best practice models and outcomes in the education of blind and visually impaired children

This review, commissioned by the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) in the Republic of Ireland, was carried out by researchers at the University of Birmingham and St Patrick's College, Dublin.

Progression post-16 for learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities

This survey, carried out by Ofsted, evaluates the arrangements for transition from school and the provision in post-16 settings for learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities up to the age of 25.

Action for Blind People survey regarding services for blind and partially sighted young adults

In early 2011 Action for Blind People carried out a questionnaire survey of blind and partially sighted young people between the ages of 14 and 25. The aims of the survey were to find out what issues are important to the young people and what services and support they feel are needed or would like to receive.

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