Dr Rachel Hewett

Dr Rachel Hewett

School of Education
Associate Professor

Contact details

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

Rachel Hewett is an Associate Professor 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

Biography

Rachel Hewett is a Birmingham Fellow based at Vision Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research (VICTAR) within Department of Disability Inclusion and Special Needs. 

She joined VICTAR in February 2010, after moving over from Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit where she had reponsibility for coordinated clincial trials. Her research interests are in disability and inclusion (in particular vision impairment), encompassing inclusion in higher education, post school transitions and transitions into employment. 

Rachel acted as Co-I, and later PI, of the Longitudinal Transitions Study: a 11-year longitudinal study which tracked the post-school transition experiences of 80 young people with vision impairment. Her doctoral thesis investigated the transition experiences of young people with vision impairment into higher education. 

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.

Postgraduate supervision

Vision impairment
Inclusion in higher education
Post school transitions
Life course
Longitudinal studies

Publications

Recent publications

Book

McLinden, M, Douglas, G, Hewett, R, Cobb, R, Keil, S, Lynch, P, Roe, J & Stewart Thistlethwaite, J 2023, Promoting Equitable Access to Education for Children and Young People with Vision Impairment: A route-map for a balanced curriculum. Routledge.

Article

Hewett, R, Douglas, G & McLinden, M 2021, '“They were questioning whether I would even bother coming back”. Exploring evidence of inequality in “access”, “success” and “progression” in higher education for students with vision impairment', Educational Review.

McLinden, M, Ravenscroft, J, Douglas, G, Hewett, R, McCann, E & Roe, J 2020, 'Promoting a balanced early years curriculum for young children with vision impairment: developing and sustaining personal agency through a bioecological systems perspective', British Journal of Visual Impairment, pp. 1-7. https://doi.org/10.1177/0264619619901036

Hewett, R, Douglas, G, McLinden, M & Keil, S 2018, 'Balancing inclusive design, adjustments and personal agency: progressive mutual accommodations and the experiences of university students with vision impairment in the United Kingdom', International Journal of Inclusive Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/13603116.2018.1492637

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

McLinden, M, Douglas, G, Hewett, R, Thistlethwaite, J & Lynch, P 2019, Evidence-based practices for teaching learners with vision impairment. in Oxford Encyclopedia of Inclusive and Special Education. Oxford Research Encyclopedias: Education, Oxford University Press.

Chapter

McLinden, M, Douglas, G, Terlektsi, E, Hewett, R, Holliman, A (ed.) & Sheehy, K (ed.) 2023, Promoting positive educational outcomes for children and young people with sensory impairments through a dual approach to access. in Overcoming adversity in education. Routledge, pp. 41-53. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003180029-5

Commissioned report

Hewett, R, Douglas, G & Ellis, L 2022, Eye Work With You Too: A research project designed to identify barriers and improve access to employment for blind and partially sighted people in Northern Ireland. RNIB.

Hewett, R, Douglas, G & Ellis, L 2022, Eye Work With You Too: Summary report. RNIB.

Terlektsi, E, Wootten, A, Douglas, G, Ellis, L, Hewett, R, Hodges, E, McLinden, M, Ware, J & Williams, L 2019, A Rapid Evidence Assessment of the effectiveness of educational interventions to support children and young people with hearing impairment. Welsh Assembly Government. <https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/statistics-and-research/2019-09/effectiveness-educational-interventions-support-children-young-people-hearing-impairment_1.pdf>

Hodges, E, Ellis, L, Douglas, G, Hewett, R, McLinden, M, Terlektsi, E, Wootten, A, Ware, J & Williams, L 2019, A Rapid Evidence Assessment of the effectiveness of educational interventions to support children and young people with multi-sensory impairment. Welsh Assembly Government. <https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/statistics-and-research/2019-11/effectiveness-educational-interventions-support-children-young-people-multi-sensory-impairment.pdf>

Douglas, G, McLinden, M, Ellis, L, Hewett, R, Hodges, E, Terlektsi, E, Wootten, A, Ware, J & Williams, L 2019, A Rapid Evidence Assessment of the effectiveness of educational interventions to support children and young people with vision impairment. Welsh Assembly Government. <https://gov.wales/effectiveness-educational-interventions-support-children-and-young-people-visual-impairment?_ga=2.38901859.1959838397.1574254763-739426866.1515487846>

Other contribution

Chattaway, T & Hewett, R 2020, Response to call for evidence from Higher Education Commission..

Hewett, R & Chattaway, T 2019, Review of current DSA Guidance in relation to students with vision impairment. Thomas Pocklington Trust. <https://www.pocklington-trust.org.uk/cyp/review-of-dsa-guidance-in-relation-to-students-with-vision-impairment_final/>

Hewett, R 2019, Your Future, Your Choice: Bridging the Gap: Supporting your transition from school to college, university and work. RNIB. <https://www.rnib.org.uk/sites/default/files/Bridging%20the%20Gap%20reportbrochure_0.pdf>

Web publication/site

Hewett, R, Douglas, G & McLinden, M, Disabled Students' Allowance: Barriers experienced by students with Vision Impairment, 2019, Web publication/site, University of Birmingham. <https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/news/thebirminghambrief/items/2019/02/disabled-students'-allowance-barriers-experienced-by-students-with-vision-impairment.aspx>

View all publications in research portal

Expertise

Rachel’s research to date has focused primarily on post-16 transitions and employment outcomes for young people with vision impairment.