Exploring strategies for including visually impaired students in online learning


The Center for Learning and Teaching Newsletter Teaching News

Author's Department

Center for Learning and Teaching (CLT)

Second Author's Department

International & Comparative Education Department

Find in your Library


Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Education and information technologies

Publication Date





Online learning has gained prominence in higher education institutions globally. Its actual and potential benefits are linked to improving access to and quality of education. It is also considered as a vital strategy for contributing to the UN SDG 4 agenda which aims at ensuring inclusive, equal and equitable lifelong education for all by the year 2030. Unfortunately, not much has been documented on how visually impaired students (VIS) have been included in online learning. To extend our understanding of this neglected but significant topic, this qualitative developmental phenomenographic study engages 14 faculty and six Administrators from two Ghanaian higher education institutions to explore challenges and possible strategies for the inclusion of VIS in online learning. The findings indicate that general policy frameworks are available in the studied universities but they are limited in salience and significance as they do not consider the inclusion of VIS in online learning. Some forms of digital technology are also available in the studied institutions but their accessibility and usability remain a challenge to the VIS. Besides, the universities have specialized units to support students with special needs generally but their practices to support VIS in online settings have remained a challenge. Consequently, universities need to develop adaptive and agile policies through inclusive and participatory approaches. Additionally, higher education institutions should strategically build the capacities of their faculty and staff to better serve VIS in online learning settings. The creation of strategic partnerships with civil society, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and the private sector generally is deemed vital for the mobilization of resources to support VIS in online learning spaces.

First Page


Last Page