The Practice, Challenges and Opportunities of Braille Skill Training for Adults with Late Visual Impairment in Addis Hiwot Rehabilitation Center

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Braille skill training, as a vision rehabilitation function, could be designed and implemented to benefit different categories of target people among whom adults with visual impairment constitute a fundamental subject of interest. The existence of different targets and contexts for such a vision rehabilitation is expected to emerge with unique practices, challenges, and opportunities for the specific trainee’s category. In this regard, a review of relevant literature by the researcher shows that there is a lacuna of empirical studies conducted on such relevant aspects. This thesis was, therefore, initiated with a general objective of exploring the practices, challenges and opportunities of braille skill training for adults with late visual impairment in Addis Hiwot rehabilitation center. A qualitative research approach, and specifically a descriptive case study method, was employed to explore the nature of issues of interest. A total of 5 participants were selected as key informants from both trainees (4) and a staff member (1) of the rehabilitation center using a judgment type of non-probability sampling method. Semi structured interviews and observations were the fundamental tools used to generate the primary data, while secondary information was mainly captured through reviewing relevant documents. A thematic analsyis was employed to analsyse the data and reach at meaningful findings. Eventually, the findings of the study were categorized and presented under three themes vis-à vis; practices, challenges, and opportunities. The practices were found to include orientation, teaching and learning, as well as conducting assessments; and challenges related to educational materials, physical environment, curriculum, personal wellbeing status, and socio- cultural and economic aspects were discovered. Opportunities, a third theme, also involved similar sub themes with those established under challenges. Given these findings, therefore, the researcher finally made such recommendations as; conducting further research to explore peculiar experiences of adults with a partial visual impairment across different rehabilitation centers, providing orientation on a continuous and multidisciplinary base to enable similar targets be impacted positively and consistently, creating relevant social platforms in which learners can interact horizontally during planning & implementing the different Braille skill training practices, improving distribution of educational materials such as braille books and relevant reference materials among learners, and financing establishment or maintenance of relevant facilities required for Braille skill trainings.