The Longitudinal Transitions Study is being conducted by the Vision Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research (VICTAR) at University of Birmingham, in collaboration with RNIB. The study began in 2009. It was previously funded by RNIB (Phase 1), the Nuffield Foundation (Phase 2) and Phase 3 has been funded by Thomas Pocklington Trust since 2015.

The study is following the experiences of young people with vision impairment during the transition from school through to employment and adulthood. Whilst there is significant research evidence demonstrating poor employment outcomes for this group of young people, there is very little evidence of what happens to them once they leave compulsory education, and therefore what might have been done to better prepare them for the transitions faced.

Since 2010, the researchers have worked closely with a cohort of 80 young people who were 14-16 years old when recruited and are now 21-23 years old. To date, the research has produced a huge body of new evidence about (1) young people’s experiences and choices of transition, (2) their levels of independence and preparation, (3) the quality of the services they have received, and (4) the adequacy of SEN and disability policy.


The following resources have been developed based on the project findings:

Supporting the achievement of learners with vision impairment in Higher Education – A guide to aid Higher Education (HE) professionals understand how they can best work with students who have vision impairment.

Online resources and guidance for young people with vision impairment going to university – Practical guidance for young people with vision impairment preparing to make the transition to university.

Supporting visiting teaching services to best measure the outcomes of their work (working with Brent local authority) – Learner outcomes framework for VI children and young people.

Tough Talks – Guide for parents in talking to their child about their vision impairment.