Empowering young people with vision impairment for educational and social inclusion

In England, there are over 30,000 children and young people with vision impairment; a low incidence group who often have limited representation within society. Specialist educational services are legally required to offer support to children and young people with vision impairment up to the age of 25.

Discover our resources on supporting
young people with vision impairment

The services ensure that these young people are able to access the school curriculum and  develop the skills they will need to live and work independently in adulthood. However, a number of barriers and a lack of resources and understanding around the transition process hinders employment opportunities and social inclusion.

Transforming the lives of young people with vision impairment

Research led by Dr Rachel Hewett and Professor Graeme Douglas from the Vision Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research (VICTAR) is helping to empower young people with vision impairment to address these barriers. As part of their work, VICTAR has worked closely with young people with vision impairment by listening to their stories and collecting evidence to provide a better understanding of what is working well and what needs to improve. The research is helping give this population a stronger voice in society; by informing national policy on higher education access, changing current services in post-school transition and by informing the work of a range of practitioners. The findings are also being embedded into teaching on the Mandatory Qualification for Teachers of Children and Young People course run by VICTAR.

VICTAR is a research centre within the Department of Disability, Inclusion and Special Needs and has worked closely with a number of charities, organisations and policy makers. Working with Thomas Pocklington Trust, a charity which helps people with vision impairment to live better lives, together they have developed major national campaigns and support resources, which have increased the awareness of the experiences of young people with vision impairment and led to work with the Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation and Steve McCabe MP.

At Birmingham, we offer specialist postgraduate courses for teachers of children and young people with vision impairments. You will be tutored by recognised experts in the field who work in the Vision Impairment Centre for Teaching And Research (VICTAR) and will have access to extensive research materials. 

Find out more about the Mandatory Qualification for Teachers of Children and Young People with Vision Impairments (PGDip/MEd)


Graeme and Rachel on campus at the University of Birmingham
Shamima speaking to academics in a coffee shop
Graeme laughing with Eddy in the Business School gardens
Hasun with Rachel looking at a laptop