Challenges with creating accessible and usable learning environments for visually impaired students' language education

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Abstract

Nowadays, more educational institutions in countries
worldwide move towards inclusive education that ensures
visually impaired students equal opportunities with their sighted
peers “for success in mastery of course material … without
compromising the content, quality or level of instruction”
(Optimizing, 2014, p.3) [1]; the Sultanate of Oman is no
exception. This paper reports the findings of a study that sought
to examine the specific challenges teachers in Oman face with
creating accessible and usable learning environment for visually
impaired students taking English language courses at tertiary
education level. Data was collected during a one semester period
at the Centre for Preparatory Studies at Sultan Qaboos
University using face-to-face interviews with language teachers.
The researchers looked into the teachers’ views on challenging
aspects related to technological and pedagogical support given to
visually impaired students for them to meet learning outcomes
and standards of competency in English, and successfully
integrate into the mainstream English language programs. The
study revealed that in-service targeted professional development
aimed at teacher training in using assistive technologies and
developing accessible teaching materials and curricula can have
a significant positive impact on constructing effective language
learning environment specific for visually impaired students and
beneficial for facilitating their learning experience.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event6th International Conference on Information and Communication Technology and Accessibility (ICTA) proceedings, Muscat, 2017 - Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman
Duration: Dec 19 2017Dec 21 2017

Conference

Conference6th International Conference on Information and Communication Technology and Accessibility (ICTA) proceedings, Muscat, 2017
CountryOman
CityMuscat
Period12/19/1712/21/17

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  • Cite this

    Al-Busaidi, S. (2017). Challenges with creating accessible and usable learning environments for visually impaired students' language education. Paper presented at 6th International Conference on Information and Communication Technology and Accessibility (ICTA) proceedings, Muscat, 2017, Muscat, Oman.