Social exclusion among students with visual impairments at UKZN Edgewood and Howard College campuses.
Title: Social exclusion amongst students with visual impairments at UKZN Howard College and Edgewood Campuses. This research used a qualitative study exploring thick descriptions, inside voices and perspectives of “otherization”, powerlessness and voiceless-ness resulting from social exclusionary processes perpetuated by social and university structures and poverty. Convenience sampling was used. Semi structured individual interviews and focus group discussions were used to explore the key research questions focusing on social and university challenges experienced by students with visual impairments at UKZN in their social and university environments. The data was interpreted through The Anti Oppressive Approach (Dominelli, 2002) which gave support to understanding how continuing to ignore marginalized persons with visual impairments out of mainstream systems of development, perpetuated “othering”, powerlessness and voiceless-ness. This study provided evidence of the multi dimensional and multi structural nature of the social exclusionary process with key focus on abuse of power by dominant groups (sighted persons), violation of human rights and visual impairment as confinement as experienced by students with visual impairments either in their social or university environments or both. In addition, this theory looked at the manner in which dominant or superior groups arrange resources around them to benefit them and exclude persons with disabilities. This research also gave a voice to women with visual impairments being oppressed by sighted women as well as poverty as a social exclusionary process. Keywords: Anti Oppressive Theory, Visual Impairments, Social Exclusion
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