Learning Processes of Persons with Hearing Impairments in Universities in Uganda: A Case Study of Kyambogo University
Aciro, Can Lucy
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of the study was to examine the learning processes of persons with hearing impairments in universities in Uganda: a case study of Kyambogo University. The specific objectives of study included; to examine the existing support mechanisms for students with hearing impairments, to examine the challenges faced by students with hearing impairments during the learning processes in lecture room and to examine the coping strategies for students with hearing impairments in Kyambogo University. A qualitative research approach was adopted and a case study research design used in order to gain a deeper understanding about the learning processes of persons with hearing impairments. Using snow ball and purposive sampling 4 Heads of Departments, 12 Lecturers and 14 students with hearing impairments participated in this study. Data was collected through interview, observation, self-administered semi-structured survey and document review. Data analysis involved editing, coding and use of thematic analysis framework for the data generated. Among the existing support mechanisms were; provision of Sign Language Interpreters who play a major role in the communication of hearing impaired students both with the Lecturers and fellow students, the provision of disability assessments which is done at admission, diversification of content delivery, provision of allowances and accommodation facilities to government sponsored students and the support during examination. Nonetheless, hearing impaired students faced challenges such as lack of hearing aids, competence and audibility of lecturers, challenge with interactions with other students and lecturers, inadequacy, absenteeism and incompetence of Sign Language Interpreters, which is worsened by inadequate instructional materials and absence of infrastructure and special seats due to big numbers of students as well as the negative attitudes of some lecturers and ordinary students towards the hearing impaired. Despite the challenges, hearing impaired students devised coping strategies that included consulting lecturers, Sign Language Interpreters and fellow students, occupying strategic seats in the lecture rooms, note taking and note making. It is further concluded from the study findings that students with hearing impairment face many challenges that they cope with the aid of support mechanisms put in place by the university and also self-formulated strategies. It is recommended that, lecturers should diversify the approaches of delivering content to students so as to cater even for those that are hearing impaired. Finally, prioritizing recruitment and engagement of more Sign Language Interpreters in the university to match the number of hearing impaired students irrespective of who sponsors them to effectively enhance learning and promote equity among hearing impaired students.