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Young people with visual impairments and their social inclusion in secondary mainstream settings: exploring perspectives of the young people, their parents and key professionals

Plaskett, Lisa (2015) Young people with visual impairments and their social inclusion in secondary mainstream settings: exploring perspectives of the young people, their parents and key professionals. D.Ed.Psy thesis, UCL Institute of Education.

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Abstract

This research was concerned with exploring the views of children and young people with a visual impairment (CYPVI) about their experiences and perceptions of social inclusion in secondary mainstream settings in England. It also targeted parents and key professionals working with and around CYPVI in their school setting. The challenge for CYPVI in ‘becoming social and communicative’, particularly for those with the most limited vision, is well documented and it has been suggested that these young people are socially isolated in mainstream settings. The lifelong benefits that arise from successful social inclusion have also been reported, yet there exists a paucity of research regarding the socio-emotional experiences of CYPVI in mainstream settings, particularly those of a secondary age. The current study, conducted by a Trainee Educational Psychologist, who was herself visually impaired, adopted a qualitative methodology. Semi-structured interviews were used with 12 young people, with a severe visual impairment, drawn from five London Boroughs; short questionnaires were used to elicit parents’ and key professionals’ perspectives. Thematic analysis was conducted on the data and eight main themes identified which were interpreted and presented within a conceptual analysis framework. Although limited generalisability, owing to small sample size, was acknowledged, the findings indicate that CYPVI face many potential challenges to their successful social inclusion, particularly during the period of adolescence. Implications of the findings for future practice are discussed; the consideration given to the role of Educational Psychologists in understanding and supporting CYPVI was privileged.

Item Type: Thesis (D.Ed.Psy)
Subjects: Departments > Psychology and Human Development
Depositing User: Mr Julian Zerfahs
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2015 13:51
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2015 13:51
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