Integration education and other factors asscociated with career choice among learners with visual impairements in Kenyan public universities
Osoro, Jacqueline M.
MetadataShow full item record
Learners with visual impairments need to choose careers that will later determine their productivity in society. The purpose of this study was to therefore find out how career choice of learners with visual impairment in selected Kenyan Public Universities were affected by the. practice of integration education among other factors. Its objectives were; to find out how career choices of visually impaired learners were affected by the current practice of integration education and training in Kenya, to find out career choices that were being undertaken by them and to identify other factors that determined their career choice. The study was carried out in two public universities in Kenya, namely Kenyatta University and Moi University. The target population of the study consisted of visually impaired learners in public universities in Kenya. A total of forty one learners with visual impairments were selected as respondents for the study. The researcher used purposive sampling procedure. Two types of research instruments were used in this study i.e. interview schedules and focused group discussions (FGDs). Both qualitative and quantitative techniques were used to analyze data that was generated for the study. Data collected was presented in frequency distributions and percentages. To identify relationships between different variables, the chi-square analysis was employed. Qualitative data was presented in form of themes. It was found that integration education did not influence the career choices of learners with visual impairments despite having several benefits. It was also found that most learners with visual impairments were pursuing teaching as a career. However, most of them were not pursuing their preferred careers. It was found that gender, environment in which one was brought up, parental education, parental occupation and the type of education system attended did not affect the choices of careers of these learners. However, the level of education of siblings and the mode of admission that is either self sponsored or government sponsored seemed to have had a significant influence on their career choices. The study further revealed that the major factors that contributed to the choice of careers included interest, salary, parental motivation and social influence which positively affected the learners' career choices. Other factors such as visual limitation, lack of appropriate technology, academic performance and lack of career awareness negatively affected the career choices. It was recommended that the Government develops a policy that fully embraces integration education. The Joint Admissions Board (JAB) should consider lowering the cut-off points which will in tum allow more visually impaired learners to access higher education. It was recommended that career education be introduced in all schools. This will give the learners with visual impairment a wide range of experiences on various careers and enable them make wiser career choices.