Title page for ETD etd-02152012-120931

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author De Kock, Heidi Collette
URN etd-02152012-120931
Document Title Adapting to the work environment by the recently visually impaired
Degree MCom
Department Human Resource Management
Advisor Name Title
Mr D Steyn Supervisor
  • aiding visually impaired in the workplace
  • visually impaired workers
Date 2012-02-15
Availability unrestricted
It is possible for Visually Impaired people to do most jobs if they have the right training, technological assistance and emotional support. Yet it is difficult for Visually Impaired people to get employment, and also difficult to adapt to the workplace when a person becomes Visually Impaired.

The purpose of the study is to explore how those who become Visually Impaired adapt to their work environment. In exploring these adaptations, the research aims to discover, firstly, if the Visually Impaired are doing the jobs they want to and how they go about doing so. Secondly, to discover which technology, equipment, support and training is helpful in aiding the VI in the workplace. Thirdly, to discover if the Visually Impaired person feels normal if physical and social barriers in the workplace are removed. And lastly, if the Visually Impaired do adapt to the workplace after they become Visually Impaired.

The physical and social barriers a Visually Impaired person faces at work, the emotional adaptation that needs to be made when Visual Impairment sets in, the adaptive technology and equipment that assist the Visually Impaired at work, as well as the legislation relevant to the Visually Impaired worker are discussed.

The qualitative approach is used as the method of research as the objective of the study is to understand the experience of those becoming Visually Impaired and adapting to their workplaces from within their own environments.

Data was collected by means of interviews from five participants, and case studies written to describe their experiences. Comparisons were drawn to assist in analyzing the participantsí experiences. A number of assumptions were then made about Visually Impaired people, as a number of possible issues came to light that the majority of Visually Impaired people might experience in some way or other, as a result of the similarities in the experiences of the Visually Impaired participants.

The following assumptions were made: The Visually Impaired do adapt to the work environment. The Visually Impaired must make certain adaptations to cope at work under their new circumstances. Adaptive technology and equipment, training and support are necessary and helpful to the Visually Impaired in the workplace. Some of the Visually Impaired participants are doing jobs they want to do, and others are not.

Some Visually Impaired people feel normal and have always feel normal; others need physical and social barriers removed, to feel normal; and yet others would feel normal if they could have those things they took for granted before, back.

The positive reaction of colleagues, clients and managers depends on two things: their knowledge of the Visually Impaired and the Visually Impaired personís attitude to life and his/her impairment. Most Visually Impaired people need and can find some form of meaningful activity in their lives.

Copyright 2002, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

De Kock, HC 2002, Adapting to the work environment by the recently visually impaired, MCom dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-02152012-120931 / >


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