Changing Attitudes About Visual Impairment in the College Classroom

By Brian W. Stone and Deana Brown

Preferred Citation

Stone, B. W., & Brown, D. (2021). Changing Attitudes About Visual Impairment in the College Classroom. Journal of Blindness Innovation & Research, 11(1). Retrieved from http://dx.doi/10.5241/11-200


This study evaluates the effectiveness of a college course designed to change student attitudes about blindness and accessibility through a comprehensive educational intervention informed by previous research and theory. Students in an interdisciplinary course spent a semester learning about visual impairment, models of disability, blind advocacy, assistive technology, universal design, accessible education, and the design of tactile graphics and 3D printed tactile models. This learning involved extensive contact and collaboration with blind and visually impaired experts and community members. Student attitudes about blindness were more positive after the course, and students reported more confidence and knowledge relating to accessibility, inclusive/universal design, and assistive technology. Given the small sample size, this study provides preliminary evidence that an educational intervention can change attitudes about blindness. This course can serve as a model for other institutions and for similar educational interventions, and such a course could be easily scaled up and adapted, including for use outside of post-secondary education.


Attitudes, blindness, visual impairment, education, contact theory

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DOI: http://dx.doi/10.5241/11-200

The Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research is copyright (c) 2021 to the National Federation of the Blind.