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ERIC Number: EJ1017624
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0145-482X
Taking Culture into Account: A Maori Perspective on Visual Impairment
Bevan-Brown, Jill; Walker, Taingunguru
Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, v107 n5 p388-392 Sep-Oct 2013
The authors open this article by noting that there is substantial research evidence showing that ethnic culture affects how disability is perceived and managed, and that taking a person's culture into account maximizes the effectiveness of the person's education. Jill Bevan-Brown and Taingunguru Walker, address this gap in knowledge by describing research that investigated the life experiences of persons who are visually impaired and Maori, the indigenous people of New Zealand. Their study identified the general, educational, and cultural barriers faced by the participants and offered suggestions for how these barriers may be overcome. The study involved in-depth, face-to-face interviews conducted by two researchers, both of whom are Maori. All who were approached agreed to participate, resulting in a sample of 8 men and 2 women. Of the 10 participants, 2 young men were attending secondary school, 3 were aged 20-60, and 3 were aged 60 or older; 1 woman was in her 50s, and the other was aged 76. Five participants had studied or were still studying at the tertiary level. Although a formal questionnaire was used, the interviews were more in the nature of informal chats covering a wide range of topics introduced by the researchers and participants. The discussions focused on barriers that the participants faced, helpful services and strategies, and suggestions for improving education and services to Maori who are visually impaired. The interviews were approximately two hours long and were conducted in the homes of 9 participants and the workplace and home of the other participant. Five of the 10 interviews also included "whanau" (extended family members) who contributed information. Nine general barriers were identified. Raising people's awareness and understanding of visual impairment was a major theme that emerged across all areas. The discussion of cultural issues during the interviews conducted with the participants showed that they identified with their Maori heritage and felt strongly that culture needs to be taken into consideration in the education and services that are provided to people with visual impairments. The participants in this research clearly articulated their entitlement to these benefits and provided suggestions as to how the benefits could be achieved.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A