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To increase the number of psychologists with visual impairments, all levels of the pipeline, from graduate training through practica and internship, need to be accessible to this population. This study sought to determine the types of barriers students who are blind face in their psychology graduate programs. The areas explored in the study included accessing printed materials throughout participants' graduate process, administering and scoring test protocols, accessing sources for research, and obtaining campus-wide communications. Attitudinal barriers were also explored in this study, particularly from supervisors, instructors, and peers. There is very little research in this area and as a result, this study was designed to elucidate the experiences of participants with visual impairments in their graduate programs. One goal was to give training institutions a better understanding of the barriers faced by students who are blind. Nineteen participants were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire consisting of yes/no and open-ended questions. Descriptive statistics were utilized in order to obtain the major themes of the responses. The most universal barrier related to the plethora of printed material encountered in graduate training. Nearly all of the participants discussed difficulties in obtaining printed material in alternate formats. They especially found it difficult to get enough sources in a timely manner for their research. Participants discussed missing class changes or other important details due to this information being posted in print and not accessible to them. Attitudes were a second barrier frequently encountered. Participants stated that they had to contend with the prejudicial attitudes of supervisors, professors, and peers who were meant to assist them in their process. Participants also discussed their wish to have more disability related awareness and education activities implemented in the curriculum of their graduate institutions. This would assist these institutions in overcoming the attitudinal barriers experienced by their students who were blind. However, participants also discussed supportive factors such as partners and professors who would provide appropriate classroom accommodations. Despite the over thirty years since passage of the rehabilitation act, and the fourteen years since the implementation of the American with Disabilities Act. Results indicate that numerous barriers still exist for graduate psychology students who are blind. These barriers must be aggressively addressed for persons who are blind to be afforded equal access to training in psychology.
Select your format based upon: 1) how you want to read your book, and 2) compatibility with your reading tool. To learn more about using Bookshare with your device, visit the Help Center.
Here is an overview of the specialized formats that Bookshare offers its members with links that go to the Help Center for more information.
- Bookshare Web Reader - a customized reading tool for Bookshare members offering all the features of DAISY with a single click of the "Read Now" link.
- DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) - a digital book file format. DAISY books from Bookshare are DAISY 3.0 text files that work with just about every type of access technology that reads text. Books that contain images will have the download option of ‘DAISY Text with Images’.
- BRF (Braille Refreshable Format) - digital Braille for use with refreshable Braille devices and Braille embossers.
- MP3 (Mpeg audio layer 3) - Provides audio only with no text. These books are created with a text-to-speech engine and spoken by Kendra, a high quality synthetic voice from Ivona. Any device that supports MP3 playback is compatible.
- DAISY Audio - Similar to the Daisy 3.0 option above; however, this option uses MP3 files created with our text-to-speech engine that utilizes Ivonas Kendra voice. This format will work with Daisy Audio compatible players such as Victor Reader Stream and Read2Go.