Lived Experiences of Adults with Late Blindness in View of Psychosocial Problem and Coping Mechanisms: The Case of Addis Hiwot Center of Blind

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Adventitious blindness including late blindness refers to vision loss that occurs after five years of age and above in which those who faced the vision problem at their late age may have visual memory. The study aims to investigate the lived experiences of adults with late blindness focusing on their psychosocial problems and other related themes such as the conditions how the study adults with late blindness reacted to the occurrence of their vision problem, the impact of vision problem of the study adults with late blindness on their psychosocial conditions, the kinds of coping mechanisms applied to mitigate the psychosocial problems of adults with late blindness and the aspiration of adults with late blindness on their future life. Qualitative research method with particular emphasis on phenomenological research design was employed to conduct the study. Face to face interview was applied to generate data from the interviewees using semi-structured interview with a view to maintaining the consistency and quality of the interview. A total of 11 interviewees (six males and five females) were identified and selected purposively as study participants from senior members of Addis Hiwot Center for the Blind, the only center/association established by adults with late blindness in Ethiopia who had shared vision on the issues related to late blindness. The data analysis was carried out based on the thematic areas organized in interview guides as core questions. In addition, as a part of the study two coherent case stories were prepared. The finding showed that the participants confirmed that their vision problem affects their psychosocial wellbeing and living conditions. The finding of the study further revealed that the occurrence of the vision problem at their late age adversely affected the psychosocial and economic conditions of the participants and their problem was aggravated by lack of opportunity to access rehabilitation services on coping mechanisms. The finding of the study signified the need that both government and non-state actors should work together at policy and grass roots level with a view to make difference in the lives of people with late blindness and ensuring the continuation of their independent living within the new situation they encountered.