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Transitions to adulthood: Transitions experiences of blind and partially sighted young people (Phase 2)

This longitudinal research project was designed in 2009 by a team from RNIB and VICTAR (Visual Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research at the University of Birmingham).

The key objectives of the project are:

  1. To track the process of transition for blind and partially sighted young people from ages 14 and 16 for five years
  2. To identify the roles of professionals involved
  3. To identify the factors that improve or reduce a young person’s chance of gaining employment

Phase 1 of the research took place between autumn 2009 – March 2012, and was funded by RNIB. A cohort of over 80 young people from England and Wales (aged 14-16 at time of recruitment) has taken part in the study.

Phase 2 of the study from April 2012 to March 2015 was funded by the Nuffield Foundation* with continued practical support from RNIB, and followed over 60 participants as they moved from school to further and higher education, training and employment. This phase included regular telephone interviews with the participants and more focused case study work with a few individuals and those involved in supporting them.

This report provides an overview of key findings from this phase of the research. The findings and related discussion in the report are presented as themes, each linked to one of the four research questions.


The Nuffield Foundation

The Nuffield Foundation is an endowed charitable trust that aims to improve social well-being in the widest sense. It funds research and innovation in education and social policy and also works to build capacity in education, science and social science research. The Nuffield Foundation has funded this project, but the views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Foundation. More information is available at

Thomas Pocklington Trust

Thomas Pocklington Trust has provided funding for this phase of the study. It is a national charity dedicated to delivering positive change for people with sight loss. As a central part of its work, it funds research that supports independent living and provides evidence, insight and guidance for policymakers, service planners and developers, frontline professionals and people with sight loss. The views expressed in the research reports are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Thomas Pocklington Trust. For more information, go to