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Competencies of Students with Visual Impairment in using the White Cane in their Learning Environment: a Case Study at Wenchi Senior High in Ghana

Authors:

Frank Twum ,

Department of Community Health, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, GH
About Frank

Mr. Frank Twum is a physiotherapist with a Masters Degree in Disability and Rehabilitation from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. His current interests include research in disabilities, rehabilitation and human performance.

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Wisdom Kwadwo Mprah,

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, GH
About Wisdom Kwadwo

Dr. Wisdom Kwadwo Mprah is a lecturer at the the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Teachnology, Department of Community Health. His current interests include research in disabilities and rehabilitation.

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Anthony Kwaku Edusei,

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, GH
About Anthony Kwaku

Dr. Anthony Kwaku Edusei is a senior lecturer with the Department of Community Health and the Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. His interests include research in disability, rehabilitation and nutrition.

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Joseph Ampratwum,

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, GH
About Joseph

Mr. Joseph Ampratwum is a staff with the Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. He holds a Masters Degree in Special Education. His research interests include disability, rehabilition and special education for the blind.

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Isaac Adu Gyamfi

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, GH
About Isaac Adu

Isaac Adu Gyamfi is a visually impaired person with a Masters Degree in Disability and Rehabilitation from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. He is interested in research related to the visually impaired.

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Abstract

Purpose: This study investigated the competencies of students with visual impairment at Wenchi Senior High School, Ghana, in familiarising themselves with their learning environment using the cane.

Method: A case study design was adopted for the study. A mixed method approach was utilized in this study. A quantitative approach was used to assess students’ competencies in using the cane while qualitative approach was adopted to probe challenges related to using the cane.

Results: Students had reached higher stages on the Conscious Competence Matrix and were by and large competent in using the white cane in their learning environment.  However, personal and environmental factors were marring their progress. The personal factors included difficulties with fine motor skills and onset of blindness. The external factors were lack of mobility trainers and canes, as well as barriers within the physical environment. There is generally a positive correlation between onset of visual impairment and specific cane skills.

Conclusion and Implications: It is recommended that resource persons devote more time to developing the competencies of students in cane techniques, especially in skills related to identification of obstacles. Modifying the physical environment, as well as providing more canes and additional mobility trainers, will be useful in facilitating the movement of visually impaired students within the school.

Limitations: A major limitation is the lack of objective assessment of residual vision and motor impairment. Residual vision likely played a crucial role during the competency test.
How to Cite: Twum, F., Mprah, W.K., Edusei, A.K., Ampratwum, J. and Gyamfi, I.A., 2018. Competencies of Students with Visual Impairment in using the White Cane in their Learning Environment: a Case Study at Wenchi Senior High in Ghana. Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development, 29(1), pp.78–92. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5463/dcid.v29i1.611
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Published on 17 Jul 2018.
Peer Reviewed

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