Perceived effectiveness of assistive devices and support services provided to students with visual impairment in mainstream classrooms in the United Arab Emirates

Ashraf Mustafa, Maxwell Peprah Opoku, Ahmed Hamdan, Mohammed Safi, Enas Mohamed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Students with disabilities such as visual impairment (VI) face challenges in accessing education, mainly owing to their inability to participate in learning activities in the classroom. While experts in special education have discussed the deployment of assistive technology (AT) to support the learning of students with VI, research on its impact is very scarce, especially in non-western countries such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE). To bridge this gap, this study explored special education teachers' perceptions regarding the effectiveness of AT in supporting the learning and mobility of students with VI in schools. A total of 228 special education teachers from three regions in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, UAE, participated in the study. The participants completed an assistive technology for VI scale, and the data were subjected to mean score computation, multivariate analyses of variance and correlation and hierarchical multiple regression. Participants rated the impact of AT highly with regard to the reading, writing and orientation and mobility skills of students with VI. Interestingly, the orientation/mobility sub-scale showed an association with teacher experience and location. The article discusses the practical implications of the findings as well as directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Special Education
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • United Arab Emirates
  • assistive technology
  • inclusive education
  • special education teachers
  • visual impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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