Challenges and opportunities Learning through Information Communication Technology in Addis Ababa University: the Case of Students with Visual Impairment

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Addis Ababa University


This study focused on examining challenges and opportunities of students with visual impairment in learning through information communication technology at Addis Ababa University. The study deployed qualitative design. To gather information both primary and secondary sources were used. For primary data two key informant interviews with Special Needs Support Office Coordinator and with Ethiopian National Association for the Blind Project Coordinator, ten in-depth interviews, and one focus group discussion with students with visual impairment were held. For secondary information different books, journals, and electronic sources, reports, program guidelines were used. The findings revealed that information and communication technology helps students with visual impairment to develop self-confidence in their academic life. It also helps them to serve as an interface to communicate with sighted persons. Students with visual impairment prefer Braille when they read during exam and focused reading time. On the other hand the findings revealed that shortage of computer to practice, shortages of Braille books, and inadequate training of the Job Access with Speech (JAwS) software, to utilize the software effectively. Even the existing trainings are given by people who are not professionally trained about the software. To curb the problem, Special Needs Support Office of the University along with other stakeholders needs to find a means. It is felt each student with visual impairment (SwVI) get a laptop as compensation like other sighted peers borrow a book from the book store or adding more computers in the computer laboratory



Social Work