Dr Sarah Kisanga (University of Dar es Salaam) explores the social barriers facing students with sensory impairment in Tanzanian higher learning institutions across different settings. The study traces the barriers from when a student was still at the primary school level to the period of higher education. It explores how students with sensory impairment perceive other people’s views of them. It also investigates how these students are affected by their perceived social perceptions. Twenty-seven students from two higher educational institutions were involved in the study. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, and open-ended questionnaires and thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. Students with sensory impairment reported that other people across settings view them as incapable. Overall, students with sensory impairment reported being treated as a socio-economic burden. They were also revealed to be viewed as beggars. This perceived negative perception from others resulted in their social isolation and difficulties in making and keeping friends. Moreover, these students reported that they were negatively being treated by teachers and lecturers. The study recommends that there is a need for awareness creation campaigns aimed at exposing the capabilities of people with disabilities in Tanzania. In addition, the law governing the employment of persons with disabilities in Tanzania should be enforced accordingly to increase their employment opportunities in different sectors.
Presentation held at the YDAR Festival 2023, Day 3
Dr. Sarah E. Kisanga is a full-time Senior Lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. She teaches, supervises, and conducts research in special and inclusive education, educational psychology, and general psychology. She has been involved in developing and reviewing curriculum at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in special and inclusive education and participated in developing a policy on Disability and Special Educational Needs at the University of Dar es Salaam. Sarah has also been involved in various research activities, including school-based learning through play and implementation research on the Satellite and INSET Models for Improved Equitable Access and Quality Early Learning in Tanzania. She is peer reviewer and has published several research articles in local and international peer-reviewed journals. She holds a doctorate from Nottingham Trent University, UK.