Description of A Longitudinal Study of Reading Development, Academic Achievement, and Support in Swedish Inclusive Education for Students with Blindness or Severe Visual Impairment
Structured abstract: Introduction: This longitudinal study examined reading development, academic achievement and support in school for six students with blindness or severe visual impairments in inclusive educational settings. Methods: School grades and results from reading observations and decoding skills tests were collected, and interviews were conducted with students, parents, and teachers. Results: The results show that the outcome of these students' schooling varied a great deal regarding both levels of academic achievement and reading development, as well as in the support needed and received. Students with additional disabilities had less positive experiences in school, and the parents of these students were more critical of the support provided by the schools. Discussion: Important aspects of the outcomes concerned the attitudes held by school management and teachers and the competence of teachers. In some cases, teachers lacked sufficient knowledge about braille and teaching methods for students with visual impairments. Implications for practitioners: The findings imply that the support system for students with visual impairments in Sweden needs to be more systematized in order to secure equal educational opportunities for all students.