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New research explores parental experience of their child’s diagnosis

What is the psychological impact on parents immediately following a child’s diagnosis of congenital sensory impairment?

Rebecca Greenhalgh, Trainee Clinical Psychologist at Coventry University is leading a new research project, funded by Coventry University, School of Psychological, Social and Behavioural Sciences, designed to gain a better understanding of parents’ experiences immediately following their child’s diagnosis with a sensory impairment. It’s hoped that this information will help medical staff, midwives, psychologists and social workers provide better support during the period of the diagnosis.

The research was granted ethical approval by Coventry University’s Research Ethics Committee.

Participants will be interviewed by the lead researcher and be asked a number of questions about their experiences of receiving their child’s diagnosis of congenital sensory impairment, including speaking about how they felt at the time, what their thoughts were and their immediate reactions.

The interview will last between 60 and 90 minutes and will take place either remotely via a secure online platform, or face to face, according to participants’ preferences.

If you would like to take part, please contact the lead researcher Rebecca Greenhalgh (see contact details below). You will receive participant information and be asked to complete a consent form before taking part.

Researcher contact details:
Lead Researcher
Rebecca Greenhalgh, Trainee Clinical Psychologist
Email: [email protected]

A person undergoing a sight test

Take part in research

Division of Optometry and Visual Sciences, School of Health Sciences, City, University of London

People with a visual impairment needed for research into the effect of the pandemic on people living with a visual impairment

We are looking for volunteers, aged 18 or over, who are living with a visual impairment in the UK to take part in a study investigating the effects of the pandemic on those with a visual impairment, their caregivers and those providing low vision services to them; and how lessons learnt can inform future low vision services and support.

As a study participant, you have the option to complete one or two online questionnaires about your experiences and views, one is about how the pandemic affected you and your wellbeing, the other asks about the effect on your Low Vision support services.  There are options of an e-mailed Word document or paper version of the questionnaire if required.

If you are not able to answer the questions on line, computer / tablet / smartphone or on paper but would like to take part, please e-mail [email protected] with your phone number and she will contact you to arrange to help you to complete the questionnaires over the phone.

Questionnaires would be expected to take 10 – 15 minutes to complete.

In appreciation of your participation, you would have the opportunity to be entered into a prize draw for a £50.00 Love2Shop Gift Card.

For more information about this study, or to volunteer to take part, 
please contact: Liz Frost at [email protected] or –

To take part in the questionnaire about the effects on your wellbeing click on this <link>.

To take part in the questionnaire about the effects on your LV support services click on this <link>.

 You are welcome to take part in either or both of the questionnaires.

This study has been reviewed by, and received ethics clearance, through the Optometry Proportionate Review Committee, in the School of Health Sciences, City, University of London (ETH2021-2175).

If you would like to complain about any aspect of the study, please contact the Secretary to the Senate Research Ethics Committee on 020 7040 3040 or via email: [email protected]

City, University of London is the data controller for the personal data collected for this research project. If you have any data protection concerns about this research project, please contact City’s Information Compliance Team at [email protected]

Jon Erichsen speaks with delegates at a Nystagmus Network Open Day.

Take part in research at Cardiff University

Professor Jon Erichsen and his team from the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University, Nikita Thomas, Katherine Ward and Onyeka Amiebenomo invite you to take part in nystagmus research.

Following their demonstrations at virtual Open Day 2021 of various nystagmus and eye tracking studies currently being carried out, you are warmly invited to apply to take part.

If you’re interested, please complete the form below. We will pass your details on to the Cardiff University team, who will be in touch with you.

the logo of the University of Birmingham and VICTAR

Vision impairment and employment – a research project

Guest Post: Dr. Liz Ellis, VICTAR, University of Birmingham

The Vision Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research (VICTAR) at the University of Birmingham is conducting research to understand more about the factors which contribute to employment outcomes (the good and not so good) for individuals with a visual impairment, living and/or working in Greater London. This project is being funded by the Vision Foundation and will help to ensure their work is evidence-based and impactful.

We would like to talk with people with vision impairment who are working at the moment, those who are not working, those working in their dream job, those who are looking for a career move, those in part-time jobs, as well as those working full-time – we want to hear about a range of different experiences via an online focus group.

We would also like to talk, via an online focus group, with professionals who have experience of supporting individuals with vision impairment into employment.

Anyone who is aged 18 years or over, in Greater London and interested and able to help should click the link for more information and the option to register to participate. All participants will receive a £20 shopping voucher as a token of appreciation for their time.

For more information please contact Dr. Liz Ellis by email at [email protected]

Libby smiles at the camera.

Can you help Libby with her research?

Introducing Libby

I am a geography student studying in my final year at Loughborough University. 

I am seeking participants for my dissertation study which aims to explore the experiences of young adults (18-25) in their local space / environment & the impacts on identity formation.

This study is inspired by my two younger sisters, who both have nystagmus. 

I am seeking individuals who would be able to offer me an hour of their time to chat and discuss their experiences of entering the ‘adult world’ with a visual impairment. I am open to hear about experiences of people who use visual aids and those who choose not to.

The aim is to increase awareness of the daily experience individuals with VI have, be that positive or negative.

I am currently seeking around 5-6 participants aged 18 to 25.

Due to COVID-19, I am unable to meet individuals in person.

To find out more or to take part, please email Libby at [email protected]

Disclaimer: This study has full ethical clearance and is fully insured by Loughborough University.

Ifigeneia stands in front of a whiteboard in a lecture theatre.

Research participation opportunity for 12-14 year olds

Ifigeneia Manitsa is a Psychology Researcher and Assistant Lecturer at Kingston University. She is currently conducting the last two studies of her PhD which is focused on the academic and social inclusion of adolescents with and without visual impairments!

If a student wants to participate in both studies, they will be asked to complete three questionnaires focused on their relationships with their teachers and peers and on their school engagement (students with visual impairments will need approximately 30 minutes for this). In addition, their favourite teachers/teaching assistants will be asked to complete a short online questionnaire about these students’ academic inclusion and their parents will be asked to complete a short online questionnaire too.

Ifigeneia is also very interested in recruiting some more teachers who will share with her their perceptions towards the inclusion of students with visual impairments. She is more than happy to send you the information sheets and consent forms if you want to have a look! If there are any families/students who wish to take part in only one of these studies, she is more than happy to include them only in one study.

Ifigeneia is happy to “meet” students and their families via Skype/Zoom.

She would also like to mention that the research has received a favourable ethical opinion from the Research Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Business and Social Sciences at Kingston University London. This is to ensure that the dignity and well-being of participants is respected. She also obtains DBS certification which is automatically renewed every year.

If you would like to know more about the study or Ifigeneia’s work, please contact us.

If you would be interested in taking part in the study, please complete the form below. Thank you.

Technology use in young people with impaired vision

Guest post from Saima Begum, University College London

I am a student at University College London, studying at the Institute of Education and I am emailing to ask for your help with my Masters research project into Vision Impairment.

This project aims to examine technology use in young people with vision impairment, and whether this influences their educational attainment.

There is much research that has found that technology such as screen-readers on phones have been useful for people with vision impairment to be able to function in everyday life, so my project is aiming to look at whether technology use can also have positive effects on education.

Moreover, because of the increasing use of social media, I plan to look at whether technology use can have a positive effect on friendships. This data is important to collect as it will show how young people with VI use technology, and how this could be utilised so they perform better in school.

Participants are invited, between the ages of 11 and 18.

All questionnaires can be completed online, and participants can do this from the comfort of their own homes.

Click or tap here for the questionnaire 

The questionnaire is accessible for screen readers. The first page of the questionnaire also includes an information sheet with more details regarding the project.

Researcher, Matthew sits at a desk looking at his laptop.

Matthew’s research on albinism

Matthew is a second year BA Geography student at Northumbria University, Newcastle. He also happens to have oculocutaneous albinism. He is passionate about increasing academic knowledge on the subject of albinism. His research is for a final year undergraduate dissertation project.

Albinism, like many other disabilities, has the potential to have an impact on everyday life. The purpose of Matthew’s study is to enable those with albinism to tell their individual stories and have their voices heard in academic literature.

Matthew aims to show the extent to which albinism impacts people’s everyday lives, including in comparison with other social factors, and explore the measures people take to minimise that impact.

The study takes the form of an online or telephone interview with Matthew. There will be questions about everyday life including work, leisure and socially experienced attitudes. The interview will be 100% anonymous and follows university ethical guidelines.

Participants must be 18+ and have albinism.

To find out more and express an interest in taking part, please contact Matthew by email at [email protected]

Ifigeneia stands in front of a whiteboard in a lecture theatre.

Calling parents of 12-14 year olds – research questionnaire

Ifigeneia Manitsa is a Psychology researcher at Kingston University London and her research is about the social and academic inclusion of adolescents with and without visual impairments.

She is currently conducting a study looking at the relationship between school engagement and social behaviour in adolescents with and without visual impairments. She is also interested in investigating teachers’ perceptions of the inclusion of adolescents with visual impairments.

She would like to interview adolescents with visual impairments, aged 12-14 years, who attend mainstream or mainstream schools with special resourced provision, their parents, and teachers. The adolescents who participate in this study may have visual impairment, but they do not have any other learning or cognitive disabilities. In addition, QTVIs (Qualified Teacher of the Visually Impaired) and teaching assistants/support staff have been excluded from this study.

Adolescents’ questionnaires will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete and they can be completed via Skype/Zoom. Their parents and teachers’ questionnaires will take approximately 10-15 minutes and they can be completed online.

Would you be interested in participating in this study or do you know someone who could be interested in participating? If yes, please do not hesitate to contact Ifigeneia.

Email Ifigeneia to take part: [email protected]