EDUCATIONAL AND PSYCHOSOCIAL CHALLENGES OF VISUAL IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN INTEGRATED

EDUCATIONAL AND PSYCHOSOCIAL CHALLENGES OF VISUAL IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN INTEGRATED

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Back ground of the study

The prevalence of disabilities in developing countries seems to be higher than it is in the developed countries. Moreover, studies indicated that about 80 percent of all persons with disabilities live in isolated rural areas in developing countries (Ibid,2006). African countries seem to share the same problem; even worse. For instance, according to the National Disability Survey of Zimbabwe (1981) out of its total population (which is 10 million), one million (10%) persons were classified as disabled out of which 25% (250,000) were of school age children (Fred, 1996). As Tirusew (1996) noted it, "the situation of persons with disabilities in Nigeria is not far from the global conditions, but even severe" . According to the 2007(1999) Population and Housing Census of Nigeria (PHCE), out of the total population (80,000,000) there were 1,490,546 (2.86%) persons with disability (excluding the homeless).

The released statistical information indicated that, the total persons with disability, 17.7 percent are in the age group 0-14 years and 48 percent in the age group 15-49 years (Ibid,2006, p.60).

For several years, it was the preoccupation of special educators to conduct studies comparing the placement of children with visually impaired in various types of educational settings (Example general education classrooms versus resources rooms)

Studies, however, indicate that the results found are contradictory and inconclusive. While some researchers in the field of education and rehabilitation of children with visually impaired students will have demonstrated the integrated or mainstreamed educational provisions to be socially, emotionally and academically beneficial to children with visually impaired students.

Minilik II primary school is found in Abujaaround Amest kilo infronte of St. Merry Church .It is chosen since it involves low cost, expense like allowance & transportation are minimized as the researcher lives in Abuja.Minilik II Primary

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school a 2005 academic year statistical data represents for the visual impairment has a total of 40 students it has also 40 teachers and 2 principals at present.

There are some researchers which have shown no significant difference among those children studying in different educational settings to be more beneficial to them in terms of their social, Psychological and educational development (Hegarty et al; 1981). This is also supported by Hallalan and kauttman (1988). They indicate that results are sometimes mixed and what complicate the picture further is the difference in the results for academic versus social outcomes Rigby,F (1972.

The education of visually impaired in Nigeria started at the same time with that of the sighted ones .This was possible since the way of instruction was oral. This idea supported by Rigby (1972) ,Who indicate that since instruction was given orally reading and written were kept to a maximum , it was possible for the visually impaired (blind) to follow the traditional type of education . He considers this as the first instance of an integrated education system for the visually impaired students.

According to Rigby (1972),in the 1930‟s the Nigerian education system started to follow the Western type of education .Since the focus of this type of education was on reading and writing, no attempt was made to introduce Braille reading & writing ,The Modern education was difficult for the Visually impaired students to follow their education.

1.2. Statement of the Problem.

Individuals with visual impairment have been learning their education in integrated educational settings in providing the necessary support for the educational and psychosocial needs of people with visual impairment initiate the development of integrated education.

Even though the basic assumption for the provision of integrated education for children with visual impairment, as indicated above, is the importance of integration for development of these children the findings regarding this are inconsistent. Some researchers indicate that segregated educational settings are better for the psychosocial

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challenges of these children, which others indicate that integrated educational settings are the better ones (Hegarty et al;1981).There are some researchers who found non significant differences between those children attending segregated and integrated educational settings (Hegarty et al;1981).

So these researches will bridge the gap between the above contradicting idea and inconsistency of the previous and also will help others for further research and current findings.

The present study has been designed to answer the following research questions:

1.    What are the educational challenges of visually impaired students in an integrated class room?

2.    What are Psychological challenges of visually impaired students in an integrated school?

3.     What are the social challenges of visually impaired students in an integrated classroom?

4.    what are the factors that affect self confidence of visually impaired students in an integrated classroom?

1.3.    Objectives Of The Study

The study has the following general & specific objectives

The general objective of the study is to investigate the Educational, Psychological and social challenges of children with Visual impairment in integrated school

Specific objectives

The specific objectives of the study are to identify the challenges of :

Children with visual impairment in integrated schools with respect to their Academic Achievement.

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Psychological adjustment of children with visual impairment in integrated school.

Social skill of visually impaired students in an integrated class.

Having self confidence in an integrated class .

1.4. Significance of the Study

The objectives of integrated education are to:

Provide the same opportunities and educational experiences for blind children as those provided for sighted children

Allow blind children and their families, neighbors, and friends to interact socially in normal situations

Provide a natural basis for adult life experiences so that blind students may take their proper places as contributing members in all sectors of society.

The focus of this study is to identify the educational and psychosocial challenges of children with visual impairment attending in integrated school settings. Doing this kind of study will enable parents and children to decide which placement is better in maximizing the academic and social growth of persons with visual impairment in general and the learners can get access to an appropriate teaching and learning material which allow them to a better learning as well as that also helps the learners are to be guided by professional teachers and care givers, which allow having access to optimum level of environmental support for their education. This will further guide parents and children in making placement decisions based on the result of the study. These studies also help in providing basic information for planners and policy makers so that they can make improvements in the educational setting which proves to be problematic for the academic and social challenge of the children. Furthermore, this study will initiate others or will help others as a stepping stone for doing further research in the area.

1.5 Limitation of the study

The study has the following limitations

Due to limited number of research site (which is taken from only Minilik II primary school ) and the sample size is also focused on limited children. So it may be difficult to generalize the finding of the study.

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1.6 Delimitation of the study

Previous researches on studies are done educational achievement with respect to students in different educational settings and psychosocial functioning. However the focuses of this study is delimited to both the challenges of educational and psychosocial. Moreover even though there are many aspects of educational side like availability of instructional material and trained teachers‟ psychosocial challenges, this study focuses on the challenges of educational, social skill, self-confidence, independence on the psychosocial aspect.

1.7 Operational Definitions

Psycho social challenge: This refers to the lack of development or atrophy of the psychosocial self, often occurring alongside other dysfunctions that may be physical, emotional, or cognitive in nature.

Educational Challenge: unable to access instructional material in the school and school environment.

Visual Impairment: a problem with vision an individual partially or totally blind.

Special Education: This is the systems of education whereby instruction is modified for those with special needs. In this study it is used to define a specially designed instruction which meets unique needs of students with visual impairment.

Integrated Education: This is the principle of educating students with special needs and those without special needs together, interacting and sharing the facilities educational Institutions have to offer.

Blind

Those who have no sight or whose sight is so defective that they require special methods used for visual impairment.

Braille: Is a system of writing and reading raised dots for the blind people to enable them to read by touch.

Low Vision – is reduced central acuity of 20/70 or less in the better eye after

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correction. Students who are described as blind may have some usable vision.

Congenital refers to loss of vision present at birth.

Adventitious refers to loss of vision acquired after birth as a result of illness or

accident.

Forms of Integration

Hegarty et al,1981;as cited by Teferi,1996 indicated that Warnock distinguished three main forms of integration intermes of locational;social and educational .

Location Integration: exists where special units or classes are set up in ordinary schools or where a special and ordinary school share the same site.

Social Integration: is where children attending a special class or unit eat ,play, and consort with other children, and possibly share organized out -of- classroom activities with them.

Educational Integration: is educating children with different disabilities in regular class room whenever the placement best fit their particular learning.

Rational for Integration.

Bricker (1987) as cited in Hegarty et al.(1981) indicated that the rationales for the integration of exceptional children are three:-social –ethical, legal-legislative, and psychological-educational.

Social-ethical, reasons have to do with altering societal attitudes and the social/emotional effects of segregation, while legal- legislative reasons derive from legislative enactment and court decisions .

Psychological –educational reasons, on the other hand have to do with the educational or developmental benefits the children get by interacting person without disability.

The above rationale for integration is also supported by proponents of integration for young children with visually impaired students. Bricker (1987) as cited in Hegarty et al.,(1981).They rely primary up on the following rationale :First ,a legal rationale states that integration children without visual impairment peers represents the least restrictive educational environments requirements of P.L 99 -457.

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A second rational suggests that integration is appropriate because it is the most morally and ethically correct form of education stated simply , integration should occur because it is the right thing to do.

The Third rational state that children with visually impaired students enrolled in integrated educational programs will receive additional educational or developmental benefits by being in close proximity to and interacting with normally developing peers of

similar ages(NASP center,n.d)National Application Service Provider. A minimum criterion related to this rational is that children with visually impaired receive educational benefits that are at least equal to those that would be received in non integrated placements(NASP center,n.d) National Application Service Provider.


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