Visually Impaired Students Learn about Transition to University

Visual Impairment Information Day 2023
College visitors being given a tour of some of the Accommodation on campus during the Information Day

Students from New College Worcester and the Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford attended a Visual Impairment (VI) Information Day organised by the University’s Disability and Dyslexia Service.

Both colleges are specialist institutions for students with visual impairments. Aimed at those thinking of going to university, it was a chance for the visitors to learn more about what university is like before they begin applications.

The day included a mini lecture about the Disabled Students Allowance grant and the process of applying for it. There was also a talk from the University’s Library Services about the support it can offer and how students can get access to resources, books or journals in a way that suits their learning. There were also talks on the benefits of going to university, how to go about choosing a university and on some of the questions to consider before going. The students also had a tour around some of the accommodation on campus.

Mentors from Look UK, a charity that supports visually impaired young people, also attended and gave a talk about their experiences of going to university.

Catherine Williams, Disability Adviser at the University of Worcester, said: “Visually impaired students have so many extra considerations when going off to university, so it is really important they do all the right planning and that they understand how to arrange support in good time. We wanted to bring together all of the expertise we could so that we could offer the best advice and set up visually impaired students for success.”

Gerard Friery, Employment and Information, Advice and Guidance Adviser at the Royal National College for the Blind, said: “Our students are very grateful to have been invited to participate in the VI event at the University of Worcester. They all found the event to be very useful in helping them to make informed choices about their future options and in giving them a greater awareness of the factors to consider when approaching higher education as a visually impaired student. We are also grateful to Look UK for their valuable contribution to the event.”

Rachael McGirr, Psychology and Health & Social Care teacher at New College Worcester, said: “It was an amazing opportunity for students to gain information on the transition to university as VI young people. Students found the day informative and engaging, allowing them to feel more at ease about accessing the available support to them if they progress to higher education.”