Educational support

Female holding books

Everyone should have the opportunity to grow and develop through education. Starting or continuing college, an apprenticeship or university after being diagnosed with LHON may seem daunting, but there are a range of opportunities and schemes to help and support you on your educational journey.


RNIB Apprenticeship Programme — the annual programme offers a range of qualifications for blind and partially sighted people across the UK.

Residential or specialist colleges — if your local college can't offer a course to suit your needs, you may consider applying to a residential or specialist college. Most of these colleges are independent and cater specifically for students with disabilities or learning difficulties.

Financial support

Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) — support to cover the study-related costs you have because of your vision loss. This can be on its own or in addition to any student finance you get. This includes help with the costs of specialist equipment, non-medical helper, extra travel to attend your course or other disability-related study support, for example having to print additional copies of documents for proof-reading.

Education, Health and Care Plan (ECHP) — identifies educational, health and social needs for children and young people aged up to 25 and set out the additional support to meet those needs.

Bursary Fund — helps with education-related costs for people aged 16 to 19 and people aged over 19 continuing a course they started aged 16 to 18 or that have an EHCP.

Disability Grants — provides a list of available grants for the blind and visually impaired.

Student support services

Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) — provide information on a range of issues for blind and partially sighted young people. This includes advice on starting and funding college, apprenticeships, and university.

Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT) — a Student Support Service to support blind and partially sighted students aged 11+ to get the most out of their secondary, college and university education. This includes advice on applications, negotiating support, financial assistance, and assistive technologies.

AbilityNet — provides support on Disability Students’ Allowances as well as one-to-one assessments to identify technology and other adjustments that will help people with disabilities or impairments to succeed in their education.