Rachel Hewett

Rachel Hewett

School of Education
Research Fellow

Contact details

Address
School of Education
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Rachel Hewett is a Birmingham Fellow based in Vision Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research (VICTAR) based in Department of Disability Inclusion and Special Needs (DISN) in the School of Education.

She joined VICTAR as a Research Associate in 2010, before progressing to a Research Fellow in October 2012 and was appointed as a Birmingham Fellow in September 2017. Previously she worked in Clinical Trials, and managed a series of large phase-three trials at Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit at University of Birmingham.

Rachel’s primary research interests are in the post-16 transition experience of young people with special educational needs and disabilities. She acts as the primary researcher on the ongoing ‘Longitudinal Transitions Study’ which has been following the post-16 transition experience of a group of young people with vision impairment since 2010. Through her doctoral study she has focused particularly on the experiences of young people with vision impairment in making the transition into Higher Education.

Rachel has been PI and Co-I on research projects funded by various funding bodies, including Nuffield Foundation, RNIB, Thomas Pocklington Trust, and NatSIP.

Qualifications

  • MSc in Applied Statistics, Sheffield Hallam University, 2011
  • MA in Social Research, University of Birmingham, 2004
  • BSc (Hons) in Economics, University of Birmingham, 2003

Teaching

Rachel contributes to teaching on research methods and also to the development of professional development courses in vision impairment. She is also a member of the University of Birmingham Inclusive Curriculum Committee.

Research

Rachel’s research to date has focused primarily on post-16 transitions and employment outcomes for young people with vision impairment. Her doctoral study has been on the experiences of young people with vision impairment making the transition into higher education.

A particular focus of her work centres on the dissemination of research findings and maximising the impact of the ongoing research in VICTAR.

Longitudinal Transition Study

ENABLER project

Secondary data analysis of the UK Labour Force Survey to investigate the economic activity of people with vision impairment

An investigation into the accessibility of the Apple iPad for users with vision impairment through an N-of-1 RCT design

Impact activities

NatSIP Higher Education Resources

Rachel has been contracted by NatSIP to develop guidance materials to help improve the transition outcomes of young people with vision impairment into Higher Education. Resources for young people are available on the Royal National Institute of Blind People website (http://www.rnib.org.uk/young-people/starting-university) She is currently working with NatSIP to develop resources tailored to HE professionals and these will be published in 2018.

ESRC-Impact Accelerator Award

Rachel had been funded by an ESRC-IAA award for a secondment at Royal National Institute of Blind People. The purpose of this award is to work with RNIB to develop resources to help professional support young people with visual impairment through various post-16 transitions and to improve their outcomes.

Publications

Hewett, R., Douglas, G., McLinden, M. & Keil, S. (2017) Developing an inclusive learning environment for students with visual impairment in higher education: progressive mutual accommodation and learner experiences in the United Kingdom. European Journal of Special Needs Education, Vol 32, 1, p89-109

McLinden, M., Douglas, G., Cobb, R., Hewett, R. and Ravenscroft, J. (2016) Access to learning’ and ‘learning to access’: Analysing the distinctive role of specialist teachers of children and young people with vision impairments in facilitating curriculum access through an ecological systems theory. British Journal of Visual Impairment, 34, pp 177-195, DOI:10.1177/0264619616643180 

Hewett, R., and Douglas, G. (2015) Inclusive Design: It’s impact on young people with vision impairment. Journal on Technology& Persons with Disabilities. Vol 3. pp 277-290. http://hdl.handle.net/10211.3/151201

Douglas, G., Hewett, R. (2014) Views of independence and readiness for employment amongst young people with visual impairments in the UK. The Australian Journal of Rehabilitation Counselling. Vol. 20 (2). pp 81 - 99.DOI is http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/jrc.2014.12 

Hewett, R., Douglas, G., Keil, S. (2014) Post-16 transition experience of visually impaired young people in England and Wales: Early findings from a longitudinal study. British Journal of Visual Impairment, Vol. 32 (3), pp. 211-222. DOI: 10.1177/0264619614535374

Hewett, R., Ellis, L., Douglas, G., and Keil, S. (2014) Vision, Accessing Information and Accessing Benefits: Technical report of findings to December 2013. Birmingham. Visual Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research, School of Education, University of Birmingham 

Hewett, R., Torgerson, C., Douglas, G. (2014) Accessibility of Apple iPad for partially sighted users: pilot study. Journal of Assistive Technologies, Vol. 8 (1), pp. 2-13. DOI: 10.1108/JAT-09-2013-0029

Hewett, R (2014) Investigation of data relating to blind and partially sighted people in the quarterly Labour Force Survey: October 2010 to September 2013, March 2014. Visual Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research, University of Birmingham.

Hewett, R., Douglas, G., and Keil, S. (2013) Young people's progress and views of independence aged 16-19: Post 14 transitions support. Technical report of findings to December 2012, June 2013. Visual Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research, University of Birmingham.

Hewett, R (2013) Investigation of data relating to blind and partially sighted people in the quarterly Labour Force Survey: October 2009 to September 2012, April 2013. Visual Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research, University of Birmingham.

Hewett, R., Douglas, G., Ramli, A., and Keil, S. (2012) Post-14 transitions – A survey of the social activity and social networking of blind and partially sighted young people: Technical Report, February 2012. Visual Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research, University of Birmingham.

Hewett, R, Douglas, G (2011) Investigation of data relating to blind and partially sighted people in the Quarterly Labour Force Survey. Birmingham. Visual Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research, School of Education, University of Birmingham

Hewett, R., Douglas, G. (2010) Post-14 transition support – a survey of visiting teacher services for blind and partially sighted students. Birmingham. Visual Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research, School of Education, University of Birmingham