Exploring the Experiences of Students with Visual Impairments at the University of Botswana

Reginald Oats, Chawapiwa Disele

Abstract


Purpose: This paper sought to document the responsiveness of the University of Botswana towards the academic needs of students with visual impairments. The study examined the academic experiences of students with visual impairments enrolled at the University and explored their information-seeking needs. The study was informed by the theory of social justice.

Method: This was a qualitative study. Data was collected from students with visual impairments and academic staff from different faculties at the University of Botswana, through document analysis, interviews and observation techniques.

Results: The findings revealed that students with visual impairments experience extra challenges compared to students without disabilities. This is mainly because they do not get full support to enable them to excel academically. Furthermore, lecturers use teaching methodologies that do not accommodate these students, and learning materials are not adapted to formats suitable for them. Access to information is another major concern that hinders the participation of students with visual impairments in tertiary institutions.

Conclusion: The study recommends that lecturers need to be trained on suitable methods to teach students with visual impairments and how best to deliver academic content to them.

Keywords


Visual impairment; access; higher education; disability

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5463/dcid.v30i1.812



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