Supporting Sight Loss
Adult trainee working on a computer
RNIB College Loughborough are experts at supporting people with sight loss. The College has been located in Loughborough for over 20 years and during this time has supported over 1,000 blind and partially sighted people to gain qualifications, develop independence skills and find employment.
The College is supported by RNIB Group, the largest and well known sight loss charity in the UK, learners benefit from the purpose built facilities and expert staff at the College.
Our facilities were designed with blind and partially sighted people in mind and features tactile flooring, an easy to navigate layout, high contrast seating and door frames and adjustable lighting. In additional to the specialist facilities, the College also has many low vision and resources to make every day tasks accessible.
RNIB College staff are experts at supporting people with sight loss. We have lectures and support staff trained in supporting students with a visual impairment to ensure lessons and learning activities are accessible. Skilled and experienced rehabilitation officers and mobility officers also help students to develop independent travel skills.
Student having a mobility session
Independent living and travel skills are an important part of the College curriculum and all students have these as part of their programme. The College teaches transferable skills and, outside class time students are able to use the skills they have learnt. With appropriate support, learn to plan, budget and cook their meals and complete their personal domestic tasks.
Travel and mobility skills increase confidence and independence. During the programme students and adult trainees work towards individually agreed targets; travel and mobility training includes:
- personal safety
- routes around College and the local community
- real-life practice, for example during the extended curriculum, shopping, work placements and off-campus activities
IT and Braille
Young person learning braille
Developing independent study skills is essential for all blind and partially sighted students to increase their independence in future education and employment.
Alongside our programmes at the College, students can learn and/or develop their IT and braille skills in individual and groups sessions. We offer training in contracted and/or uncontracted braille to people just starting to learn or experienced users who would like to develop braille technology skills and the use of a braille note.
We teach students the use of access technology and the use of these packages with everyday software such as Word, Excel, email and internet use.
Student and staff member using a computer
The College provides support to students studying in-house or on mainstream programmes at Loughborough College. Support is provided by Learning Support Assistants, qualified and experienced in supporting students with a visual impairment. Support includes:
- mobility support around college
- note taking in class
- out of class support with research and assignments
- tutor support – to discuss progress and set targets
- development of independent study skills
The College works with independent counsellors to provide support for students and adult trainees coping with their sight loss or other issues affecting them. These sessions are confidential and independent of College staff.
Emotional and pastoral support is also provided by key workers and tutors to support individuals to achieve their potential.
Low vision support
The Low Vision Service empowers students and trainees with sight loss to make best use of their vision. It provides functional and clinical assessment as part of the pre-assessment process and whilst on programme. A College optometrist can provide support, advice and information and loan low vision aids and magnifiers during the programme.