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Inclusive design: Its impact on young people with vision impairment
Survey data shows that people with vision impairment are less likely to be in employment than the general population. This is particularly true for younger people, with secondary data analysis suggesting that 42.8% of those aged 16-25 in the UK Labour Force Survey who have vision impairment (VI) are NEET (not in employment, education or training). Research evidence has identified potential barriers and enablers which can influence whether a young person with VI successfully makes the transition from education into employment. One of the most significant enablers identified is being equipped with the skills to be able to independently access information. Researchers working on the Longitudinal Transitions Study have observed a movement away from specialist devices and software by young people with VI, towards the use of mainstream devices with inclusive design. The young people are finding that not only are these devices accessible to them; they can also use them as assistive tools. These findings also have implications for educators and policy makers in guiding the young people how best to use this equipment in educational settings, whilst still ensuring that they leave education equipped with the range of skills required once in the workplace.