Adults with Visual Impairments Report on their Sex Education Experiences

By Tiffany A. Wild, Stacy M. Kelly, Mollie V. Blackburn, and Caitlin L. Ryan

Preferred Citation

Wild, T., Kelly, S., Blackburn, M., & Ryan, C. (2014). Adults with Visual Impairments Report on their Sex Education Experiences. Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research, 4(2). Retrieved from doi:


This study seeks to understand and learn more about the sex education needs and experiences of students with visual impairments. Because research on this topic is scarce, this study examined the responses of 30 adults, 18-30 years of age, as they reflected on their sex education experiences through use of a survey including both open-ended and Likert-type questions. Data were analyzed using qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Overall, respondents indicated that having a visual impairment impacted their experiences in sex education. They reported that curricula were frequently limited to topics such as risks associated with sexual behavior and anatomical or biological information. Additionally, approaches to teaching regularly lacked accessible materials, other than the occasional use of scenario presentation, discussion, and explicit talk by instructors. Results also suggest that the sex education experienced by the respondents happened outside of the classroom, where they learned through methods that were more accessible to them about a wider range of topics than were presented in their schools. These results suggest sex education curricula for students with visual impairments should encompass a wider range of topics, including social information, and ways of teaching that would allow a greater degree of access to the materials and knowledge presented in school.


Blind, Visually Impaired, Low Vision, Sexual Health, Contraception, Sexuality

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The Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research is copyright (c) 2014 to the National Federation of the Blind.