This thesis is in three parts. Part One reviews the
general literature on the integration debate and looks at
the debate in relation to the specific field of visual
impairment. This examines the issues and gives a broad
context to the particular area of the visually impaired
student in mainstream further education.
Part Two is a review of the field of integration support
with particular reference to further education and
individuals with visual impairment. There exist real
concerns about the ability of the mainstream to provide an
environment that will ensure that these individuals maximise
their learning potential. These concerns seem principally
related to making appropriate support services available so
that the advantages of mainstreaming are not outweighed by
the disadvantages of reduced levels of support. Part Three is a research project based on further education
colleges in the Midlands. It attempts to identify and
examine the support services that enable successful
integration of visually impaired students. It also attempts
to evaluate these factors to establish their relative value
in this mainstreaming process. The evaluation is from the
perspective of visually impaired students in fur.ther
education rather than that of professionals in the visually
impaired field. This perspective is clearly relevant and
has not been given due weight in the literature to-date.
The thesis goes on to compare these findings to the data
from other surveys which were concerned to identify and
evaluate these support services from the perspective of the
professional in this field.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.