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ERIC Number: ED519136
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 163
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1242-5432-6
Expanding the Current Definition of Literacy Pertaining to Blind and Visually Impaired Individuals
Al-Said, Sharifa Khalid Qais
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Teachers College, Columbia University
This research explored the notion of what constitutes literacy, particularly as pertaining to people who are blind or visually impaired, specifically those that do not use Braille as their primary way to access and produce text. To achieve this goal, a mixed design was used including a biographical presentation of what it means to be blind and "literate" or "illiterate" and a literature review that deconstructed the notion of literacy historically and in contemporary terms. Additionally, a qualitative study was conducted exploring the understanding of what literacy, as applied to a population of blind and visually impaired individuals, means. Four groups of stakeholders--(a) university students, (b) teachers, and (c) professionals, each of whom worked with or were themselves blind or visually impaired, and (d) literacy specialists--were interviewed. An experimental study was conducted to determine if differences existed among three groups of individuals in their ability to process and recall information through their preferred way of processing text as opposed through audition alone. The three groups were individuals who were blind or visually impaired and either used Braille or did not and individuals with sight who read the visual print. The results of this experiment were that there were no differences found across and within groups in terms of amount of information retained when allowed to access text in their preferred way or by listening to it alone, with the exception of sighted individuals who retained more information when reading rather than listening to text. These results were presented as feedback to the original interviewees to determine whether these results would change the views of any of the original interviewees with respect to their notions of literacy and the role of auditory-based access to text. The results of the study revealed a very complex understanding of what constitutes literacy but a general consensus as to what literacy means across those who were interviewed and suggested that Braille was not the only viable approach to accessing text, but because of technological advances, audition is also viable. Recommendations as to how this might be accomplished were provided. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A