Title: Diverging pathways: A report of the final follow-up of students with visual impairment in Wales following transition at age 18.

Author: Sue Keil, Publisher: RNIB, Year of publication: 2006.


Between 2003 and 2006, RNIB carried out case studies of five young people with visual impairment in Wales as they went through the process of transition from compulsory to post-compulsory education at the age of 16 and beyond. In the final part of this project, interviews were carried out with the five respondents: at the end of the first and second academic terms following transition at the age of 18. The findings are detailed in the third and final report of this three-year research study.

Related reports

This is the final report in a series of three:   

Key findings    

  • When considering possible colleges and universities the young people favoured those with a reputation for being accessible to blind and partially students.    
  • The students concerned were all very satisfied with their educational support. However, even the most organised and supportive institutions may be undermined by individuals or departments that are disorganised or fail to take full account of their students’ special needs.    
  • Throughout this study the participants have reiterated the importance of being seen and treated as no different to their peers. Nevertheless, there is a tension between same and differential treatment.    
  • Talking to the five young people at various points before and after transition has also highlighted the fact that this is not a straightforward, linear process. All changed their minds about their next destination at least once during that period. The implication of this finding is that any support framework needs to have flexibility built into it, if it is to be effective.   
  • Getting accessible text books, accessing the internet, and receiving training in the use of ICT equipment have all presented problems to be solved for students in FE and HE.