Influence of the family on students with visual impairment: highlighting their issues and problems from a South Australian perspective

Poulomee Datta, Fizza Sabir

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This study investigated the family lives of the students with visual impairment who are enrolled in schools and vocational courses in South Australia. Interviews were conducted with 14 students with visual impairment, 5 parents, and 4 teachers. These data reflected a range of viewpoints from which to examine the research question. The findings revealed that students with visual impairment would choose a member of the family with whom they would share an amicable and harmonious relationship. However, there were others in the family in the form of a sibling without disabilities and/or a step or biological parent that were often reported to be inconsiderate toward the vision needs of the child with visual impairment and which became the potential reason for discontentment and disharmony among family members. Parents articulated that they made an attempt to share a pleasant relationship with their children with visual impairment but were often restricted in their ability to do so. Impeding factors reported by parents were demanding work schedules to maintain a livelihood, inconsiderate attitudes displayed by siblings without disabilities, and discriminatory attitudes demonstrated by a stepparent that led to conflict and mistrust in family relationships for students with visual impairment. According to teachers, students with visual impairment could share blissful and contented family relationships if they were treated equally and at par with their nondisabled siblings and included in all family matters. Teachers commented that mostly in single parent or stepparent households, a child with visual impairment was treated less favorably. However, it was highlighted that a child with visual impairment was found to share a positive family relationship if there was another sibling with a disability in the family. These findings have implications for classroom teachers, special educators, parents, and a range of support professionals in the education sector to facilitate greater understanding of the problems experienced by these students in their family lives and highlighting specific recommendations needed in improving the family lives of these students.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave handbook of global social problems
EditorsRajendra Baikady, S.M. Sajid, Jaroslaw Przeperski, Varoshini Nadesan, Islam Rezaul, Jianguo Gao
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9783030681272
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Nov 2021


  • students with visual impairment
  • family lives
  • siblings with a disability
  • visual impairment
  • South Australia


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