If you are working with blind and partially sighted learners from birth to 25, including those with complex needs, at RNIB we want to offer you support..
We want to ensure children with vision impairment get the best possible start in life and go on to achieve their full potential.
Facts and figures
We estimate that around 25,000 children and young people up to the age of 16 in England and Wales have a vision impairment of sufficient severity to need specialist educational support. As many as 50 per cent have additional disabilities, including some who have very complex needs. Most are born with a vision impairment. You can find more key statistics in the document below:
New legislation brought about by the Children and Families Act 2014, means that statements for special educational needs will be replaced by Education, Health and Care Plans. The principle of setting out what an individual child needs remains the same. The change only affect families living in England and nothing will change until September 2014.
Content on this page refers to the current system of assessment and the statement process, which you can still apply for until September 2014. We will be updating our content to reflect the new changes as they are gradually rolled out.
For more details regarding the Children and Families Act 2014 and the new Code of Practice visit:
- Contact a Family - Education is changing.
- Council for Disabled Children - Resources on the Children and Families Bill.
Guidance and resources
At RNIB we strive constantly to improve the quality of teaching and learning for all children and young people with vision impairment, so that they can achieve even more.
Our guidance on teaching and learning section is designed to help you provide the best possible education and developmental support to blind and partially sighted children and young people. In this section, you'll find effective practice guides and information around educating children and young people with a sight condition including:
- working with children in the early years
- teaching National Curriculum subjects
- working with school age children
- working with children with complex needs
- supporting students in further and higher education.
Our education resources section compliments our guidance on teaching and learning and tells you about classroom resources including books and electronic textbooks. In our access to exams and texts section you'll find information on making exams accessible, including how to modify papers and how to obtain past papers. Our technology in education and independent learning sections explore how technology can help facilitate greater learning.
Events, training and networks for education professionals
Find out about some really useful events, training and networks for education professionals working with children and young people with vision impairment, including those with complex needs. These networks and events help to bring professionals together from different settings to share effective practice, professional development, networking and peer support.
Why is specialist support needed?
Read the evidence and arguments for protecting vital local authority VI services.
Resources for young people
Our pages for young people offer advice and guidance for blind and partially sighted young people aged from 14 to 25 on all stages of their transition from school, to college, university and into employment.
Resources for parents
Our resources for parents of blind and partially sighted children includes information to help parents understand their child's sight condition, financial support, other parents stories, a who's who guide for parents and more.
Get the latest news
To keep up to date with news and information to support children and young people who have a vision impairment, sign up to receive our free online magazine for families and professionals called Insight.
Knowledge and research hub
We are a leading source of information on sight loss and the issues affecting blind and partially sighted people. Access our statistics, evidence and reports in our research hub.Visit the research hub