Inclusive education implies an approach where all learners, despite any specific learning needs, are accommodated and supported in the classroom. Currently, only blindness and partial sightedness are recognised as visual barriers to learning in South Africa, with the result that no formal guidelines exist to accommodate learners with colour vision deficiency (CVD) in schools. Furthermore, teachers in South Africa are not formally trained in this field, resulting in them being unaware of and feeling ill-equipped to assist these learners.
The purpose of the current study is to contribute to the existing knowledge base on the experiences of learners with CVD with the aim of identifying supportive strategies that may be employed by the teachers of such learners. To this end, I explored and described the classroom experiences of five individuals with CVD and documented their recommendations for possible supportive classroom strategies. In compiling a conceptual framework, I integrated concepts of Bronfenbrenner’s (Rosa & Tudge, 2013) systems theory with the sociocultural theory of Vygotsky (Tchombé, 2011). I adopted interpretivism as epistemology, implemented a multiple case study research design, and followed a qualitative methodological approach. I relied on both purposeful and convenience sampling in selecting participants. Semi-structured interviews, observations, field notes and a reflective journal were utilised for data generation and documentation. I analysed the data through inductive thematic analysis.
Three themes with related sub-themes emerged. First, the results of my study indicate that CVD is often inherited and discovered during the primary school years by a parent or teacher during colour-related activities. Secondly, the classroom experiences of individuals with CVD seemingly include the need for additional time to complete colour-related learning activities even though the participants did not indicate significant negative experiences regarding their general scholastic performance or social and emotional functioning. Thirdly, participants highlighted the importance of self-help coping strategies, teacher awareness, an inclusive physical classroom space, the cautious application of colour in class, worksheets, textbooks and tests, as well as peer support, for learners with CVD. Based on my findings I can conclude that the impact of CVD in school may be reduced through self-help coping strategies as well as teacher and peer support. To this end, my study may provide teachers with possible supportive strategies to implement in class, making it more inclusive of learners with CVD.
Mini Dissertation (MEd (Educational Psychology))--University of Pretoria, 2022.