Attitudes of the Sighted on the Education, Employment and marriage of the Visually impaired in addis ababa

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Addis Ababa University


This research undertaking focuses on investigating attitudinal reactions of sighted communities toward the education, employment and marriage of persons with vision impairment. Using the data collection instruments developed and rapport established with the sighted persons living in the study areas, persons with vision impairment and key informants, particular attention was paid to generate information on the positive and negative reactions of the social environment; the challenges visually impaired people encounter in their struggle for the fulfillment of their wishes, aspirations and life goals. In the study 400 (200 male and 200 female) sighted persons, 20 (8 male and 12 female) sighted persons gender specific focus group, 24 (12 men and 12 women) persons having vision impairment gender specific focus group living in Woreda 11 kebele 23; and 17(9 male and 8 female) persons with vision impairment gender specific focus group discussion participants at ENAB and 8 key informants participated. Both close and open-ended questions, focus group discussion outlines and a three- point attitude scale questionnaire on the topics of education, employment and marriage were employed. A total of 60 points/items (20 items on each category) were included where participants of the study were asked to indicate the extent of their agreement, uncertainty and disagreement about the statements made. The information obtained, although there prevailed an inconsistent and mixed attitudes, the findings revealed that the unwelcoming social environment significantly hampers access to various opportunities. As mentioned above the study aims at revealing the perceived factors by the sighted in the integration and access to opportunities for persons with vision impairment as regards to education, employment and marriage. The data collected through xquestionnaires were analyzed using percentages. This again was supplemented with the focus group discussion results, responses of attitude scales and information obtained from key informants. The findings of the study revealed that prevalence of unwelcoming social reactions toward the persons with vision impairment have inhibited their effort to benefit from the fruits of education, in their desire to gainfully employed, lead an independent and start marriage life. Access to education is very limited because of a number of reasons i.e. poverty, absence of schools, lack of appropriate support from regular schools, preference of families to send non-disabled to disabled and the value families attach to the education of the female child with vision impairment and male child with similar problem. The study revealed that families and society at large consider the education of female children with vision impairment less important than male siblings. Those girls having vision impairment who manage to join schools fail to pursue largely because of teenage pregnancy, as they are vulnerable for sexual abuse. For fear of abuses and endangering themselves, the socialization process is restrictive and does not encourage their participation in matters concerning their current and future lives. The problems associated with the education of persons with vision impairment are shown in the study. The study revealed employment opportunities for persons with vision impairment for various reasons are very low in the labor market. As regard to marriage of persons with vision impairment the findings revealed that women are considered asexual, unable to discharge the home management and motherhood responsibilities and unable to equally participate to generate to the household income. Finding a marriage partner for women with visual impairment is very difficult because of such preconceived notions. xiOn the basis of the findings some suggestions are forwarded to help different actors in order to bring about improvements in the live situations of the visually impaired with special emphasis to their education, employment and marriage life



Addis ababa Employment and marriage