Children, young people and families

Our services support blind and partially sighted children and young people, their families and education professionals across the UK

What do we believe?

Sight is our most powerful sense, providing instant access to information to help understand the world around us. It plays a vital part in children’s play and in their developing language and social skills. Most approaches to learning take it for granted.

Vision impairment is a significant disability, creating unique challenges to learning that can only be addressed with specialist knowledge and understanding. Children and young people with vision impairment are a small but diverse population and many children have high levels of need.

We believe blind and partially sighted children and young people from birth to 25 years must receive specialist support from a qualified teacher of children and young people with vision impairment (QTVI), as outlined in the SEND Code of Practice. QTVIs hold the mandatory qualification (MQ) in vision impairment as well as qualified teacher status.

What do we know?

There are an estimated 40,950 children and young people up to the age of 25 with sight loss in the UK – approximately 25,870 of these are under 17.

Most blind and partially sighted children are born with their vision impairment.

At least 20 per cent have additional disabilities and/or special educational needs and a further 30 per cent have very complex needs.

Approximately two thirds of children who have vision impairment are educated in mainstream schools; some of these schools have specialist learning facilities too for learners with vision impairment. Around a third attend special schools for learners with learning or physical disabilities. Two per cent attend specialist schools for blind and partially sighted learners.

What do we do?

Working in partnership with other organisations, we support thousands of children and young people with vision impairment each year, impacting on their educational opportunities, building their confidence, and promoting engagement and participation alongside their sighted peers.

Insight Online is the essential read for anyone supporting children and young people with vision impairment.

Sign up to Insight enews

RNIB Bookshare UK education collection (formerly Load2Learn) is a free online resource that allows educators to download curriculum materials in a range of formats and adapt them to suit personal reading needs, including braille, large print and audio

Children, young people and families services

For information about our services for children and families in other parts of the UK, please visit:


It is important to us that everyone that accesses our services is safe and supported.

Find out more about our safeguarding policy.