Supporting the achievement of learners with vision impairment in higher education

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Abstract

This guide has been produced to aid Higher Education (HE) professionals understand how they can best work with students who have vision impairment, to facilitate a positive and inclusive experience. Vision impairment among young people is very low incidence, which means HE professionals often have limited experience to draw upon to inform their practice. Despite this, graduate statistics and research evidence demonstrates that, with appropriate adjustments, students with vision impairment can thrive in HE.

Research into the experiences of young people with vision impairment as they have made the transition into HE demonstrates that there is often a period of learning and adjustment for both HE provider and student as they navigate how best to facilitate an inclusive learning experience (eg, Hewett et al, 2015). The guide has been designed to equip HE providers to
be better prepared to support students with vision impairment from the start of their
learning pathway.

The resource will help staff in Higher
Education to:
- ensure that students with vision impairment have the support they need to be able to access, remain and succeed within and
progress from HE in line with the national strategy proposed by BIS (2014) and
HEA (2015)
- implement as a minimum the ‘reasonable steps’ required under the Equality Act 2010 (or the Disability Discrimination Act (1995) in Northern Ireland) to make sure that students with vision impairment are not treated less favourably than other students.

The guidance is written with the UK context in mind, but the broad spirit of the document can be applied in many international university settings.

This resource has been produced by the Vision Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research (VICTAR), University of Birmingham with support from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and the National Sensory Impairment Partnership (NatSIP). The content (including illustrative case studies) has been informed by the research evidence based on the experiences of students with vision impairment in 25 different HE UK institutions (Hewett et al, 2015) and has been reviewed by experts in HE and in the field of vision impairment. This research has been funded by RNIB, the Nuffield Foundation and Thomas Pocklington Trust.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherNational Sensory Impairment Partnership/Department for Education
Number of pages40
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

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