A recent study from the University of Birmingham and supported by TPT has found that blind and partially sighted young people are edging nearer to employment but that more still needs to be done.
This unique study has followed the experiences of 48 blind and partially sighted young people as they try and navigate their way from secondary school into work.
Worryingly, it found that over a fifth were not in education, employment or training, or were unpaid volunteers.
The study also found that young people with vision impairment were unemployed for at least a year when leaving university, and many returned for further study.
Significantly, access to services which could help blind and partially sighted young people in employment, had not been made clear to them, and some had difficulty getting support through Access to Work.
Peter Corbett, CEO of TPT, said:
“This important research has uniquely followed young people with vision impairment and has highlighted some of the difficulties that they face when trying to secure employment. It is important that the right educational and independent support is in place throughout a young person with vision impairment’s journey at secondary education into adulthood, to ensure that they are best placed to secure the employment that is right for them.”
At TPT we believe more needs to be done to help blind and partially sighted young people to prepare for employment and life after statutory education.
These findings have important ramifications for policy development. We recommend that there is a review of the support that students with vision impairment receive at university, to help prepare them for the labour market.
It is also important for HE providers to focus on making anticipatory adjustments for students with vision impairment, so that these students can pursue internships and part-time work.
There is also need for more intensive targeted support from specialists with an understanding of vision impairment to get people who have been NEET for a long time into the work place.
Read more on the University of Birmingham website.