Pavey, Susan Ann (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
This two-phase study investigates the provision of mobility and independence (M&I) education for children with visual impairment in mainstream schools in the United Kingdom (UK). Phase I collected data (through questionnaires and interviews) from professionals involved in M&I education in order to obtain a UK-wide picture of provision and service delivery. The analysis particularly noted that many different professionals and agencies were found to be involved in M&I education and the scope and organisation of services differed across the country. It is argued that this complexity resulted in an inconsistent and patchy level of provision across the UK. Given the range of professionals involved in M&I education, Phase II explored whether distinct ideologies were observable when different professionals described their practice. Techniques of discourse analysis were applied to transcripts from interviews with six participants from a range of professional backgrounds. Findings include evidence of administrative, charitable/philanthropic, rights, professional and educational discourses, as well as discourses linked to the social and individualistic models of disability, and diverse categorisation of children. The key finding that different professionals have different ways of talking about what they do has implications for the type and nature of services that children receive.
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