Social Inclusion For Visually Impaired

Asma Rasheed, Imran Ahmad, Asad Aslam Khan


Purpose: To determine the social status and level of social inclusion for visually impaired persons, comparing it against a standard life style and to evaluate the barriers faced by them in daily life. Methods: 120 visually disabled persons studying in different special education schools were interviewed using a questionnaire. Results: 11% of the students had low vision while 89% were blind. 55% used some low vision device whereas 45% used none. Only 4.2% availed low vision services. 39.2% faced difficulty in accessing health services. 40.8% had access to computers, 9.2% to large print books and 38.3% to libraries. Only 3.3% students had facilities for easy mobility available in schools. 24.2% students faced hurdles, 25% had no proper tracks and 20% no proper play ground in schools. 51.7% faced difficulty in using public transport. For outdoor activities, 62.5% no contrast tracks, 55.8% no enlarged bus numbers and 99.2% no talking signals. 25% thought disability and 38.3% thought their family as barrier to interact with society. 28.3% said that teachers didn’t help the students to interact with society and 41.7% were not satisfied with their own community involvement. Conclusions:  Visually impaired persons are not included in most aspects of life and they are facing many barriers in education, access to health services, transportation, awareness of using low vision aids, employment, daily living activities and communication which prevent them from active participation and developing self confidence. Joint efforts of government and society could help the social inclusion of these people.