Participation of disabled children in inclusive education is now well established in policy and practice. However, 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.
The statistics above are taken from a wide variety of sources. Contact us at [email protected] for further information.
This report contains a summary of findings from the 2021 RNIB Freedom of Information request into education service provision for children and young people with vision impairment. Published March 2022.
Structured early intervention can improve outcomes for babies and young children with severe vision impairment (OPTIMUM VI research project).
Research commissioned by RNIB, Fight for Sight and GOSH Children’s Charity carried out by Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) and UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health (ICH) has found evidence that early intervention using the Developmental Journal for babies and children with Vision Impairment in a structured way leads to better developmental outcomes for babies and young children with VI.
Download the Optimum Practitioner research brief (Word)
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.
Phase 3 of the transitions study started in April 2015 and is following over 60 participants as they move from further and higher education to training and employment, and into independent living. The following reports explore the experiences and views of these young people regarding a range of topics and themes.
Phase 2 of the transitions study from April 2012 to March 2015 followed over 60 participants as they moved from school to further and higher education, training and employment. 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. Published 2016.
Phase 2 of the transitions study from April 2012 to March 2015 followed over 60 participants as they moved from school to further and higher education, training and employment. The following seven reports explore the experiences and views of these young people regarding a range of topics and themes.
This is the second report from a longitudinal research study that began in 2009, which is being carried out 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.
This is the first report from the Birmingham University longitudinal research study and is a survey of post-14 transitions support provided to young people by local authority visiting teacher services. Published 2010.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Research reports on Sight impairment at ages seven and eleven: secondary analysis of the Millennium Cohort Survey. Published 2013 and 2014.
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.
Educational attainment and progress of young (primary school aged) blind and partially sighted pupils in England. Published 2010.
Educational attainment of blind and partially sighted pupils is a detailed analysis of government statistics relating to educational performance. Published 2009.
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.
RNIB commissioned research on examination access by blind and partially sighted learners. Published 2010.
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.
Research into what student teachers in England are currently taught about accessibility, and how to get training on accessible curriculum materials into mainstream teacher training.
This report investigates the evidence around how dyslexic people use images.
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.
This report looks at certification and registration in children and young people with Vision Impairment in England.
Post-14 transitions - A survey of the social activity and social networking of blind and partially sighted young people: Technical Report
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.
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.
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.
The British Journal of Visual Impairment recently published this article which describes a longitudinal study which is tracking the progress of 78 young people with visual impairments in England and Wales as they make this transition.
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.
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.
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.