RIX Research is an international centre of excellence, based at the University of East London. We have established a significant reputation for our work in the field of media technology and intellectual disability and have led a series of large-scale European research and development programmes.


Our focus is to enable people with learning disabilities to participate in the research to challenge their social exclusion, to have a voice and tell their stories. We are also partners with the Open University and our important, collaborative research is advancing this ‘self-advocacy’ dimension of the work we do.


Social Work Students SEN Module – 2021

Every year we offer the first year social work students a placement in school, in partnership with the Rix Research and Media Centre at The University of East London. 

We would like to say a huge thank you to the families who have kindly volunteered to be part in this annual project, which this year  moved to online conversations. This valuable opportunity has meant so much to these students. Some of the quotes from the students include ‘wonderful’ ‘breath-taking’ ‘really rewarding’ and ‘the experience has reinforced that they have chosen the right path for their future career.‘ The students shared learning around understanding the importance of support networks, the reduction in anxiety and confidence in talking with new people and widening their views on potential life opportunities for our young people.

Thank you again to these families, we look forward to compiling some of the feedback around online learning and the provision we offer for students returning to school.


Feedback from social work students on working with families, Rix Research and CPA:


Initially I didn’t know what to expect – it was very rewarding. Families were very open … School is pivotal and the centre point in support.

First time engaging in this type of work and families were receptive. It was a wonderful experience.

I’m definitely doing the right course because – I saw life in a different way as I didn’t know about autism.

I came new to the world of disability and I didn’t want to come across arrogant or rude. But the process and procedures helped.





Text ©

We don’t underestimate people
SeeAbility encourages people with disabilities to challenge what they expect from life, from themselves and from wider society.


Children in focus — a clear call to action

SeeAbility has released new research that suggests thousands of children with learning disabilities in England’s special schools are missing out on vital eye tests and eye care despite being 28 times more likely to have a serious sight problem than other children.

Around 100,000 children attend special schools in England, including the majority of children with severe learning disabilities or autism. Our study indicates that up to half of these children are likely to have a problem with their vision, yet alarmingly an estimated 40,000 children will have never received any eye care.

This means thousands of children who desperately need glasses are going without, many suffering extremely poor vision without anyone knowing about it, impacting on their ability to learn, play and socialise. While others with more serious eye conditions are being deprived of sight-saving treatment.




Text ©

nasen (National Association of Special Educational Needs) is a charity organisation who have been operating since 1992 – making 2017 our 25th birthday!


We support thousands of practitioners by providing relevant information, training and resources to enable staff to meet all pupils’ needs. Working with dedicated education professionals, nasen aims to ensure that practice for special and additional needs is both effective and current.

nasen is committed to providing an excellent range of professional development opportunities by offering the latest news and information, to support practitioners in identifying and meeting the needs of children and young people.


Understanding the eye care and vision needs of pupils with
special educational needs and disabilities

Created in partnership with Seeability




Text ©

MaTHiSiS means Managing Affective-learning THrough Intelligent atoms and Smart InteractionS. MaTHiSiS is a three year project funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 work programme. The project is implemented by the MaTHiSiS consortium that consists of 18 partners from 9 different Member States. Consortium is very well balanced including research centres, universities, and public administrations, big and small companies. This ensures the innovation value chain merging technologies and education together.

The project aims to create a personalised and adaptable e-learning system for mainstream and special education, industrial training and career guidance. The system will enhance learning by continuously adapting the learning path for individual learners based on their performance and engagement. The system is unique as it uses the learner’s facial expressions and body movements to assess engagement. The project also incorporates a range cutting edge technologies like specialised robots and mobile devices and interactive whiteboards, to engage learners.


The MaTHiSiS system will be tested throughout the project with five different types of learners:

  • Autism Spectrum Case (ACS)
  • Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities Case (PMLDC)
  • Mainstream Education Case (MEC)
  • Industrial Training Case (ITC)
  • Career Guidance Distance Learning Case (CGDLC).

These different use cases are being tested through three different pilot phases: Driver, Assisted and Real-life pilots. This iterative process allows us to learn from each phase and adapt the system.