Orientation and Mobility Experiences of Nigerians with Visual Impairment

Authors

    Paul Ajuwon , Samuel Olawuwo , Adaka Ahon , Nora Griffin-Shirley , The Nguyen , Rebecca Stallings

Published:

2022-11-11

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.52291/ijse.2022.37.35

How to Cite

Ajuwon, P., Olawuwo, S., Ahon, A. ., Griffin-Shirley, N. ., Nguyen, T. ., & Stallings, R. (2022). Orientation and Mobility Experiences of Nigerians with Visual Impairment. International Journal of Special Education (IJSE), 37(2). https://doi.org/10.52291/ijse.2022.37.35

Abstract

In many developing countries, orientation and mobility (O&M) services and programs are inadequate. A survey of 296 visually impaired Nigerians was conducted in 2018 to assess availability of, and experiences with, O&M services and training.  Three-fourths of those sampled were blind.  O&M items were analyzed by vision status. Persons with partial sight were more likely than blind persons to use a cane without the assistance of a human guide and less likely to ask for help if lost and unaccompanied.  However, they did not express more confidence in their ability to travel independently, suggesting a sense of stigmatization.  Level of confidence was positively associated with the extent of training and degree of skill in both orientation and mobility, supporting the importance of training with sufficient intensity.  Analysis revealed that many partially sighted individuals were substituting another device for a white cane, yet reporting either not wanting or needing a white cane, implying a perception of stigmatization.   Among those owning white canes, blind persons reported more difficulty navigating independently, citing primarily physical impediments and adverse topographic conditions. Recommendations are made for local manufacture of white canes, improvements in physical infrastructure, and establishment of a national registry of all persons with disabilities.

Keywords:

Orientation and mobility, Perceptions, Blindness, Partial sight, White cane, Nigeria

Issue

IJSE Vol 37, No: 2, 2022

Volume 37, Number: 2, Year 2022 of International Journal of Special Education