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) and 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:

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.

The following reports present findings from different Phases of the project:

Transition to Adulthood – Summary report of key findings from Phase Two of the Longitudinal Transitions Study. The report examines the types of transition that young people with vision impairment make after leaving compulsory education and their experiences and level of preparation for these transitions. Click here for the word version of the report.

Autumn 2016 Technical Report – This report presents an overview of the types of activities that the participants were engaged in aged 19-22. Pathways explored include further education, employment and apprenticeships, higher education and NEET (not in employment, education or training). The report also investigates the participants knowledge of the SEND reforms and the introduction of Education, Health and Care Plans.

Autumn 2016 Technical Report: Reflections of Transition Experiences by Young People with Visual Impairments aged 19-22 – This report presents an overview of the findings from interviews conducted with the participants which focused how prepared they were for various aspects of adult life once having left compulsory education. Topics explored included support to make transitions, careers advice and work experience, skills for accessing information, self-advocacy and social skills, mobility skills and independent living skills.

To view all of the reports and key findings from the project, visit the VICTAR website