Transitions to adulthood: Technical reports for the Longitudinal study of transitions experiences of blind and partially sighted young people (Phase 2)

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.

The Transition Experiences of Young People with Visual Impairments aged 17-21

Authors: Rachel Hewett, Graeme Douglas, Huw Williams: VICTAR, University of Birmingham; Sue Keil: RNIB; Publisher: University of Birmingham funded by the Nuffield Foundation; Year of publication: 2015

This report particularly draws upon interviews with 61 young people. The interviews took place in autumn 2014 / spring 2015 when the young people were aged between 19 and 21 years old. This report also draws upon data collected in previous rounds of interviews, therefore exploiting the longitudinal nature of the project, as well as presenting some detailed context and comparison data which are taken from analysis of the literature and secondary data sources.

Support and information received by young people with visual impairments 

Authors: Rachel Hewett, Graeme Douglas: VICTAR, University of Birmingham; Sue Keil: RNIB; Publisher: University of Birmingham funded by the Nuffield Foundation; Year of publication: 2015

The data presented here relates to these young people’s recollections and understandings of: medical support relating to their sight condition and engagement with low vision clinics; their eye conditions and (often changing) level of vision; initial diagnosis and understanding of their sight condition; their general health; emotional support and counselling.

Young people, visual impairment and preparing to live independently 

Authors: Rachel Hewett, Graeme Douglas: VICTAR, University of Birmingham; Sue Keil: RNIB; Publisher: University of Birmingham funded by the Nuffield Foundation; Year of publication: 2015

The data presented here relates to these young people’s experiences and views of preparing to live independently, and specifically: Current living circumstances, including those already living independently; Transition to independent living; Preparation for specific tasks; Knowledge of adult services; Guide dogs.

Wellbeing of Young People with Visual Impairments 

Authors: Rachel Hewett, Graeme Douglas: VICTAR, University of Birmingham; Sue Keil: RNIB; Publisher: University of Birmingham funded by the Nuffield Foundation; Year of publication: 2015

The data presented here relates to these young people’s views of their own wellbeing (including responses to some standardised measures of wellbeing or well-related constructs) and friendships. This includes: Wellbeing: Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale; Wellbeing: Locus of Control; Wellbeing: Self-Image Profile for Adults; Friendship networks; Friendships with others with visual impairment; Peer Support from others with visual impairments; Anticipated benefits of peer support from others with visual impairments.

Experiences of Blind and Partially Sighted Young People as they Make the Transition into Higher Education 

Authors: Rachel Hewett, Graeme Douglas: VICTAR, University of Birmingham; Sue Keil: RNIB; Publisher: University of Birmingham funded by the Nuffield Foundation; Year of publication: 2015

By summer 2014, 38 participants had applied for higher education across a variety of courses and a range of institutions and 33 had made the transition into HE by the academic year 2014/15. This report provides findings of young people’s experiences of applying for, and going to university. 

Vision, accessing information and accessing benefits. Technical report of findings to December 2013

Author: Rachel Hewett, Liz Ellis, Graeme Douglas: VICTAR, University of Birmingham; Sue Keil: RNIB; Publisher: University of Birmingham; Year of publication: 2014

This report focuses on data collected in Easter 2013 (short catch-up interviews to establish participants’ plans for the next academic year) and more extensive recorded telephone interviews conducted in autumn 2013. The primary focus of this wave of interviews was to get a better understanding of the young person’s vision impairment and the equipment that they use and adaptations that they make to access information. As the interviews coinciding with a government restructure of this benefit provision, questions were also asked about the young people’s experiences of Disability Living Allowance/Personal Independence Payments (DLA/PIP).

Young people’s progress and views of independence aged 16-19: Post-14 transitions support. Technical report of findings to December 2012

Author: Rachel Hewett, Graeme Douglas: VICTAR, University of Birmingham; Sue Keil: RNIB, Publisher: University of Birmingham, Year of publication: 2013

This report focuses on data collection conducted in Easter 2012 (short catch-up interviews) and more extensive telephone interviews in autumn 2012. Seventy young people between the ages of 16 and 19 took part in the autumn 2012 interviews. The primary focus of these interviews were to explore the idea of independence (for example, in terms of mobility, self-advocacy and access to information) – factors which research evidence show to be important for a successful transition into employment for blind and partially sighted students.

Further resources

Read the Final summary report and research briefing here

Acknowledgements

*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 www.nuffieldfoundation.org