Research in VICTAR

As with all our work, our research is concerned with social and educational inclusion of people with vision impairment – this is linked to concerns for equity, social justice and enablers and barriers to inclusion. This is informed by theories of human development and learning, as well as theories of disability.  Our research is far reaching but some overlapping themes include: young people and transition from school; literacy including braille; curriculum and curriculum access; adulthood and employment; international work.     

Young people and transition from school

Educational research and visual impairment

The RNIB have funded VICTAR to undertake a number small research and development projects concerning education (2015 - 2016)

Longitudinal Transitions Study

This longitudinal research project (which commenced in 2009) is looking at the transition of blind and partially sighted young people from the age of 14 years of age through to employment or further education.

Evaluation of the future in-sight project

This RNIB funded research (2013-2018), is an evaluation of the Future In-Sight project which aims to support partially sighted and blind young people as they move from compulsory education into independent adulthood.

Literacy including braille

Braille Dot Height

This project (2007 - 2008) investigated the braille dot elevation required when reading braille from pharmaceutical packages.

Standardisation of print reading scores for partially sighted print readers

This 2005 project investigated reading ability by assessing the reading of nearly 500 children with low vision using the Neale Analysis of Reading Ability

Curriculum and curriculum access

Developing a pilot 'outcomes based' framework for mobility and independence specialists

The main focus of the project (2010 - 2011) was to devise and field test an appropriate service user mobility and independence tool designed to monitor the outcomes service users and their families/representatives want to achieve in relation to relevant Government initiatives

Steps to Independence

This research investigated the mobility and independence needs of children with a visual impairment and considered how best to support their learning

West Midlands RNIB Social Inclusion Project

This project (2002 - 2003) investigated and developed methods of supporting the social inclusion of children with a visual impairment at school.

Adulthood and employment

The ENABLER project: experimental new action-based beneficiary led employment research

Using a Big Lottery Fund grant, the RNIB, Action for Blind People and the University of Birmingham (VICTAR), this research (2010 - 2013) aimed to improve the employment prospects for thousands of the UK's blind and partially sighted population by ascertaining key employment needs amongst blind and partially sighted job seekers.

Experiences of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) on people with sensory loss

This project (2014-2015) funded by RNIB, the Thomas Pocklington Trust, and Sense explores the experiences of the DLA to PIP policy change for people who have a visual impairment or a dual sensory impairment (deafblind).

Network 1000

Network 1000 sought to survey the changing needs and circumstances of visually impaired people though a sample of 1000 visually impaired people from across the UK. It ran from 2006 - 2009

Research with people with deafblindness

Members of VICTAR are actively engaged in researching a number of areas in deafblindness.

Secondary analysis of the Labour Force Survey

The aim of this work funded by RNIB is to investigate employment data which is available in this extensive data set in relation to the employment outcomes of blind and partially sighted people.

International work

Improving the curriculum and teaching methods to influence policy and increase the quality of ECDE provision for children with disabilities in Malawi

With funding from ESRC and DfID, this three year project (2015-2018) will be investigating ways to improve the early childhood curriculum and teaching methods of pre-school carers and to increase the quality of early childhood development and education provision for young children with disabilities in Malawi.

Reach Forward: Making educational research count for children with disabilities in Malawi, Kenya and Uganda

The Reach Forward Project funded by ESRC (2013-2015) aims to address the exclusion of children with disabilities in Africa from quality education. The project will draw on existing primary research to address a number of issues around the current educational support available for children with visual impairment and those with other disabilities, focusing on Malawi, Uganda and Kenya.

Education of Children and Young People with Albinism in Malawi

This research (from 2012-2015) explores some of the ways teachers can support children with albinism in Malawi through the use of inclusive education practices that can increase their participation in all school activities and enhance the quality of their learning experiences.

Barriers to access: why some children with albinism in Malawi are not attending school

This British Academy funded study (Sept 2012 - May 2014) built on previous research in Malawi by Dr Pat Lund from the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences in Coventry University and Dr Paul Lynch from the School of Education. This aim of this project was to identify the key determinants preventing young people with albinism from accessing education in five rural villages in northern Malawi.

Early childhood development and education for young children with visual impairment in Malawi

This research, funded by Sightsavers (2012-2014), will be looking at parents'/carers' attitudes, beliefs and behaviour towards their children with visual loss in Malawi

The Educational Inclusion of Children with Visual Impairment in Developing Countries

Literacy for all: developing literacy through touch in the classroom is a study promoting and tracking over one year the development of braille literacy skills of a group of primary school children who are blind in Malawi.