Video: Unlocking the key to independence

Anes is crossing the road using a cane with Mobility Teacher Kerry Kent is walking beside him.

As well as achieving academic qualifications at RNC (Royal National College for the Blind), one of the key benefits of coming here is by far and away the independence that students gain from being at a residential college.


In our latest promotional video (which can be viewed at the bottom of this page), students talk about the skills which they have gained since being at the College. All students have one to one sessions in mobility and ILS (independent living skills) when they first arrive at RNC. Sam Thomas, Teacher of Mobility and Independence, explains that all programmes are individualised for each student. “In the beginning we get to know what each student’s skill level is, everyone will have different starting points and different end goals. We don’t grade people, there is no level that says everyone has to achieve the same thing by a certain time; it’s all very person centred.”


Students tend to progress with their mobility much quicker than they would back home and Stephanie Mackey, Teacher in Charge of Mobility and Independence at RNC, explains why “The big difference is that they’re getting very frequent lessons and in between their lessons they’ve got to get to all the places they’ve been learning so they’re able to pick up routes much more quickly as they’re constantly practicing within this campus setting.”


The residential setting also enhances our students’ general independence as students find that their reliance on other people is taken away. 20 year old Anes Saleh from Birmingham admits “Before I came here my mum used to do everything for me; my laundry, my cleaning, my meals. Basically if I wanted something I’d say to my mum ‘Can I have a cup of coffee?’ and there would be a cup of coffee on the table.” Now in his second year Anes has learned to do things for himself and says “It might seem like a small thing but for me it’s a big deal – now I can go into the kitchen to make a cup of tea for me and my friends and I feel like very proud because that’s a cup of tea I’ve made.”

To find out more about the range of independence skills students learn at RNC watch the video below;


If you would like to learn more about studying at RNC call our student enquiries line on 01432 376 621 or email

Article written by Bik Lee, Digital Media Officer at RNC


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