Vol 9 (2024): Continuous Publishing
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Published online: 2024-05-02

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Availability and helpfulness of low vision assistive devices for low vision learners attending inclusive schools in Kakamega County, Kenya

Doreen Eshiraba Ashioya1, Peter Clarke-Farr2
Ophthalmol J 2024;9:92-99.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Low-vision assistive devices play an essential role in improving the reading performance and quality of life of low-vision children.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: A school-based observational cross-sectional study design was employed based on a census survey that identified 21 low-vision learners who had been assessed and placed in 11 primary public inclusive schools in Kakamega County, of whom 19 consented to participate in this study. Participants responded to the LV Prasad Functional Vision Questionnaire, which elicited how their vision influenced their ease of functioning in day-to-day activities. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 25 software for descriptive and inferential statistics.

RESULTS: The majority (63.2%) of learners did not have assistive devices, which may have resulted in the participants’ poor performance in daily living activities. Available assistive devices included spectacle magnifiers (15.8%), dome magnifiers (5.3%), telescopes (5.3%), and spectacles (5.3%). One learner (5.3%) reported the use of multiple assistive devices. Only one learner (5.3%) reported that their assistive device served them perfectly well. The rest, 15.9%, reported that the devices served them reasonably well, 10.5% reported a little, and 5.3% reported that the device was not helping them.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study highlight the lack of assistive devices as a critical barrier to the effective implementation of the inclusive learning system in Kenya. Most low-vision learners attending inclusive schools in Kakamega County did not use any assistive devices, and of the few who did use them, most reported that the devices did not serve them well.

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