Logistical, teaching and learning challenges of undergraduate students with visual impairments at a selected university

Willems, Melanie (2021-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2021.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: After the Salamanca World Conference on Special Needs Education on 10 June 1994, inclusive education became more prominent to redress inequalities and exclusions in society. In 2018, the Strategic Policy Framework on Disability for the Post -School Education and Training System was commissioned by the Minister of Higher Education and Training in South Africa to give attention to disability inclusion as an outflow of the 2013 and 2015 White Papers. Persons with disabilities are increasingly furthering their studies in the post- school sector. South African researchers explored challenges faced by students with disabilities when accessing higher education. While there is much research focused on the challenges faced by students with disabilities, studies which focus specifically on experiences of students with visual impairments at higher education institutions are limited. This study intended to gain an understanding of the logistical, teaching and learning challenges experienced by undergraduate students with visual impairments in higher education using a selected university as a case study. Semi-structured one-on-one interviews were used to collect qualitative data from 15 registered undergraduate students at a selected university. Participants were selected using purposive sampling. The data was analysed using thematic analysis. The findings of the empirical investigation showed that undergraduate students with visual impairments experience logistical, teaching and learning challenges in higher education at different levels of the university. At micro level, signage visibility and PowerPoint fonts are considered to be logistical, teaching and learning challenges. At mezzo level, students with visual impairments experience support services to be challenging. At macro level, accessible transportation challenges were described as the major concern. Recommendations resulting from the study indicate that it is vital for students with visual impairments to disclose their disability when entering a higher education institution to ensure that specialised support is provided. It is recommended that the use of different social media platforms is maximised to raise awareness about the support services provided.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Na die Salamanca-wêreldkonferensie oor onderwys met spesiale behoeftes op 10 Junie 1994, het inklusiewe onderwys meer prominent geword vir die regstelling van ongelykhede en uitsluitings in die samelewing. In 2018 het die Minister van Hoër Onderwys en Opleiding in Suid-Afrika die strategiese beleidsraamwerk vir gestremdhede vir die naskoolonderwys- en opleidingsstelsel opgestel om aandag te gee aan die insluiting van gestremdhede as 'n uitvloei van die Witskrifte van 2013 en 2015. Persone met gestremdhede studeer in toenemende mate in die naskoolse sektor. Suid-Afrikaanse navorsers het die uitdagings ondersoek wat studente met gestremdhede in die gesig staar wanneer hulle toegang tot hoër onderwys betree. Alhoewel daar baie navorsing is wat fokus op die uitdagings van studente met gestremdhede, is daar min studies wat spesifiek fokus op ervarings van studente met visuele gestremdhede in hoëronderwysinstellings. Daarom was dié studie bedoel om 'n begrip te kry van die logistieke, onderrig- en leeruitdagings wat voorgraadse studente met visuele gestremdhede in die hoër onderwys ervaar, met behulp van ʼn geselekteerde universiteit as gevallestudie. Semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude van aangesig tot aangesig is gebruik om kwalitatiewe data van 15 geregistreerde voorgraadse studente van die geselekteerde universiteit in te samel. Deelnemers is gekies met behulp van doelgerigte steekproefneming. Die data is geanaliseer deur middel van tematiese ontleding. Die bevindings van die empiriese ondersoek toon dat voorgraadse studente met visuele gestremdhede logistieke, onderrig- en leeruitdagings in die hoër onderwys op verskillende vlakke van die universiteit ervaar. Sigbaarheid en PowerPoint lettertipe word op mikrovlak beskou as logistieke, onderrig- en leeruitdagings. Op mezzovlak ervaar studente met visuele gestremdhede uitdagings ten opsigte van ondersteuningsdienste. Op makrovlak is toeganklike vervoeruitdagings as die grootste bekommernis beskryf. Aanbevelings as gevolg van die studie dui aan dat dit noodsaaklik is dat studente met visuele gestremdhede hul gestremdheid verklaar wanneer hulle by 'n hoëronderwysinstelling inskakel om te verseker dat gespesialiseerde ondersteuning verleen word. Dit word aanbeveel om die gebruik van verskillende sosiale media-platforms te maksimeer om bewustheid oor ondersteuningsdienste te lewer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/123583
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