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EXPERIENCES OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES IN AN ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAM: A CASE STUDY ON PRESERVICE TEACHERS WITH VISUAL IMPAIRMENTS
Abstract and Figures
This qualitative case study aimed to explore the experiences of two pre-service teachers with visual impairments in an English language teaching teacher education program in terms of inclusive practices, accessibility, need accommodation, and institutional issues. Two pre-service teachers with visual impairments, four teacher educators, six peers, and three administrators participated in this study. The data were collected through individual and focus group interviews, observations, reflective journals, and documents. The qualitative analysis of data was done with the utilization of MAXQDA software. The themes “definition of a teacher”, “inclusive practices”, “attitudes to disability”, and “institutional issues” emerged from the data analysis. This study found that pre-service teachers with visual impairments are not considered to fit in the language teaching profession by teacher educators, and if they are to be in the teaching profession, they are expected to work at School for the Blind. In addition, the pre-service teachers with visual impairments experience accessibility issues in v transportation and curricular activities, and the teacher educators in this study could not fully accommodate the needs of the pre-service teachers with visual impairments. Thus, teacher educators need professional development programs to learn how to accommodate the needs of the pre-service teachers with visual impairments. Besides, the institution in which this research study was conducted only followed the regulations of the Council of Higher Education, and the administrators stated if there were not the likelihood of economic sanctions, the institution would not provide any additional accommodation for students with disabilities. Finally, the study revealed that the peers were aware of the challenges linked to disability and they had empathy for the pre-service teachers with visual impairments.
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