Promoting a balanced early years curriculum for young children with vision impairment: developing and sustaining personal agency through a bioecological systems perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • John Ravenscroft
  • Elizabeth McCann
  • Joao Roe

External organisations

  • University of Edinburgh, The
  • Sensory Support Service, Bristol


Through the use of their developing vision, young children develop increasingly sophisticated ways of establishing control within different learning environments, thereby helping them to exert influence as active ‘agents’. Vision impairment can present significant barriers to a child developing personal agency through reducing access to visual information. In this article, we present the parameters of a conceptual framework to inform the design of intervention approaches that can help to reduce these barriers. We draw on a dual model of ‘access’, contextualised within a bioecological systems perspective, to examine how young children with vision impairment can establish increasing personal agency through intervention approaches that promote progressive independence access skills within an ‘ethos of empowerment’. In presenting new conceptual foundations for examining the development of personal agency in young children with vision impairment, the article has significance for research, policy, and practice in vision impairment education and offers a theoretical reference point for related areas of early childhood inclusive education.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Visual Impairment
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2020


  • access, bioecological systems framework, early intervention, personal agency, vision impairment