An examination into the transition to third level education for students with visual impairment.
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This study embarked on an examination into the Transition to Third Level Education for Students with Visual Impairments. It conducted an exploration of the challenges and successes of the transition to third level education for students with visual impairments. The literature review detailed the existing body of knowledge concerning the transition experiences of students with visual impairments to third level education. A qualitative methodology was used to ascertain the information displayed inthis study. This took the form of semi-structured interviews. Semi-structured interviews provided an in depth knowledge of the experience of visually impaired students who have embarked on the transition to third level education as participants were giventhe opportunity to freely express their views and opinions. Interviews were conducted with five young people with visual impairments who have previously made the transition to third level education. Participants were selected using purposive sampling. After interviews were conducted they were transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed. Findings from the study revealed that students receive varied supports depending on their individual needs when transitioning to third level educationincluding assistive technology and examination accommodations. Challenges encountered by students with visual impairments were highlighted such as accessing learning material, physical environment, navigation, unsuitable assistive technology and a lack of understanding from staff. The findings suggest that support from disability support services, lecturers, peers and students’self-determination and self-advocacy were major contributors to their success when transitioning to third level education. It also emerged that achieving their third level qualification, gaining independence and increased confidence were considered successes for students with disabilities. Research outlined in the review of literature was discussed in detail in relation to the findings which emerged from this study. This study made recommendations for practice to promote the participation of students with visual impairments in third level education.The findings identified recommendations made by participants to promote the participation of studentswith visual impairments in higher level education. These included participants’ recommendations to facilitate tailored inductions for students with disabilities entering third level education and providing the opportunity for students with visual viiiimpairments to attend trade fairs to keep up to date with new assistive technology available to them. Finally, recommendations were made by the researcher. Some of whichincluded,offering summer camps to students with visual impairments transitioning to third level education which provide assistive technology and orientation training, study and independent living skills.Another recommendation involved higher education institutions allocating a student ambassador to link with secondary school students andvisiting teachers for visually impaired students to provide information and promote the participation of students with visual impairment in higher education.It is also recommended that higher level institutions are audited to insure that the physical environment of campuses are fully accessible to all students.
- Taught Masters Theses 
- Theses - Social Science 
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