A Phenomenological Study of Challenge-Related Lived Experiences of Female Students with Visual Impairment in Higher Education The Case of Addis Baba University

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Addis Ababa University


The aim of this study was to describe the lived experiences of female students with visual impairment who failed to continue (dropped out) their education at Addis Ababa University (AAU) because of various challenges. I conducted in-depth individual interviews with 7 participants and data were analyzed according to the principles of the descriptive phenomenological approach. Participants described the challenges they experienced in relation to academic and social aspect which includes the hardship of the transition period, the university environment, the risk factors and their coping mechanisms. The study participants discussed also about their preference and level of social interactions with in-group and out-group peers. The findings revealed that in addition to the typical demands of university studies, the participants also took a lot of responsibility upon themselves to manage their studies and their physical and social environment. Though participants struggled a lot to maintain their position in the university, yet the effort sometimes drained their energy and left them frustrated and hopeless. Despite valuable steps towards inclusion in Ethiopia, the study participants’ experience might be taken as indicator that the full participation of visually impaired female students seems to be not realized in the tertiary educational level



Social Work