Mobility experiences of students with visual impairment in Makerere University
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This study is study is about the mobility experiences of students with visual impairments in Makerere University. The specific objectives of the study were; to assess how the students with visual impairments access class rooms, places of residence and walk ways in Makerere university, to find out how they manoeuvre to reach their planned destination, to examine the different challenges the students with visual impairment encounter when moving and to find out the coping mechanisms adopted by the students with visual impairment in overcoming the constraints they face when moving around the university. The study was carried out for a period of five months. This study considered using a case study design with a qualitative approach. 7 participants were selected using purposive sampling and these included 6 students with complete visual impairment and 1 partially impaired student The findings from this study showed that students with visual impairments encounter a variety of mobility challenges and these majorly as a result of the environment in which they stay or move through. The external environment challenges include existence of trenches along walk ways, many stair cases in areas that they routinely access, excessive noise in certain environments, vehicle parking along the walk way, heavy car traffic, introduction of new structures in the environments, absence of clear land marks and rainy weather. Individual mobility challenges include self-stigma and low self esteem among students with visual impairment. To address the mobility challenges encountered by students with visual impairments in Makerere University, I call upon the social workers and the other policy makers to educate other people who have vision about visual impairment so that they are in position to be supportive in ways that they directly give assistance to SWVI but also act as advocates against discrimination of persons with visual impairment in society. The education will also inform the visual group of students to understand what the visually impaired students need in place to avoid challenges they encounter during mobility.