Defining Literacy for Individuals Who Are Blind or with Visual Impairments: A Qualitative Study of Stakeholders.


We explored the notion of what constitutes literacy, particularly as it pertains to individuals who are blind or with visual impairments, including those that do not use Braille as their primary way to access and produce text. Four groups of stakeholders participated in the study: a) college students who were blind or with visual impairments, b) literacy specialists, c) teachers of individuals who were blind or with visual impairments, and d) professionals who were blind or with visual impairments. We interviewed each participant individually. We found a very complex understanding of what constituted literacy but a general consensus as to what literacy meant across those participants. We concluded that Braille was not the only viable approach to accessing text and legitimated audition as another feasible mode of literacy with contemporary technological advances. We also offered recommendations as to how this might be accomplished.


Communication Sciences and Disorders

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Journal of Ethnographic & Qualitative Research