Abstract of N. Almog lecture


N. Almog
Bar Ilan UniversityIsrael

Every year approximately 250 students with visual impairment study at
higher education institutes in Israel. Most of these students face
academic and social difficulties and have to develop their own
methods and skills to adjust to university. Besides the challenges that
every student faces, students with visual impairment have many more,
such as learning orientation in the new place and creating a support
network. The current study examined the ways in which university
students with visual impairment adjust to university academically and
socially. The study explicitly aimed at incorporating students’ voices
and, using in-depth interviews, offers some insight into students’
experiences of the process of adjustment to university. Fifteen
students from three large universities in Israel, all defined as legally
blind, were interviewed. Interview data were analyzed according to
themes. For participants in this study, the experience of attending
university is complex and rich with implications for their lives as
independent adults. This qualitative inquiry revealed a holistic picture
which presents a whole that is different from the sum of its parts.
While attending university, each student went through a repeated
process of sense making while simultaneously negotiating his or her
identity both as a student and as a person with visual impairment.
Students discussed many personal issues, most of them related to
social adjustment, stigmas and the perceptions of them by a sighted
society. Coping strategies in the areas of academic and social
functioning were also a main issue. Results reveal students’
weaknesses versus and strengths in these areas. The study offers
insights which can help professionals and support services intervene
in the process of adjustment to university and help students with visual
impairment graduate successfully.

No comments:

Post a Comment