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Blind and sight loss

According to the Royal National Institute of Blind people (RNIB) figures, there are around 350,000 people registered as blind or partially sighted in the UK of these approximately 84,500 are of working age. Their Employment status and sight loss 2017 report found that only one in four registered blind and partially sighted people of working age are in employment.

Teaching Blind learners and learners with sight loss in the mainstream FE Sector

Staff at the Royal College for the Blind demonstrate a range of tools and tips that can be used at low cost and to high effect to support visually impaired learners in the mainstream FE sector. These demonstrations were recorded at a training day for FE staff held at the Royal National College for the Blind.

Supporting blind and visually impaired learners

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) run RNIB Bookshare UK education collection which provides textbooks and materials to support the UK curriculum. They offer a range of accessible formats that can be read electronically or adapted to suit the personal reading needs of learners. They support:

  • listen to books with high quality text-to-speech voices
  • hear and see highlighted words on screen
  • read with digital braille or enlarged fonts
  • create physical braille or large print
  • read directly from an Internet browser
Employment status and sight loss

The RNIB published a research report in 2017, Employment status and sight loss, their findings showed that only one in four registered blind and partially sighted people of working age. The figure is even worse for people who are completely blind, falling to one in ten. 

The report identified that registered blind and partially sighted people with a degree or higher still only have the same chance of getting a job as someone with no qualifications in the general public.

Quick links

Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) - charity providing information and advice to education providers to support blind and partiiiiially sighted people.

RNIB Bookshare - RNIB Bookshare supports learners with a print disability to access the curriculum. They provide accessible textbooks and resources for sight loss, dyslexia ,dyspraxia, autism and qualifying physical disabilities. The service is free to UK education organisations. 

The National Sensory Impairment Partnership - offers information and resources relating to good practice in education and training for people with sensory impairment.