University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Accessing the curriculum; university based learning experiences of visually impaired physiotherapy students

Frank, Helen, McLinden, M. and Douglas, G. (2020) Accessing the curriculum; university based learning experiences of visually impaired physiotherapy students. Nurse Education in Practice, 42. Article no. 102620. ISSN 1471-5953

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The aim of this study was to explore the learning experiences of visually impaired physiotherapy students in the UK, specifically focusing on barriers and enablers faced within university and classroom based education.
A qualitative multiple case study design was used due to the unique and small group of participants under exploration. Course Leaders of all universities in the UK that offered Physiotherapy education at undergraduate or pre-registration level were approached as gatekeepers to access participants. Four visually impaired physiotherapy students consented to take part in the study, each from a different institution.
Semi-structured interviews were used at a time and setting chosen by each participant. Data were recorded and transcribed verbatim, and analysed thematically using NVivo 10. Both barriers and enablers were identified, with sub-themes within the data; the barriers were: environmental factors, unsupportive behaviours and time and effort. The enablers were: supportive relationships, student attributes, and strategies and adaptations.
All participants experienced barriers to learning within their university setting, despite having disclosed a disability and having access to and provision of reasonable adjustments. However, despite facing barriers, there were many positive experiences that enabled learning, particularly when staff and students worked together in an open, supportive, and proactive environment.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: visual impairment, higher education, barriers, enablers, inclusion, physiotherapy
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Allied Health and Community
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Depositing User: Helen Frank
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2019 11:32
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:33

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