Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
The number of individuals facing vision loss as adults is increasing, and the need for these adults to have access to training and skills to aid in their adjustment process is prevalent. Guided by the tenets of connectivism, this phenomenological study examined current trends in social networking and the possibilities that are available to adults adjusting to low vision by using technology as a means for continued learning, social interaction, and professional connections. The main research question focused on the participants' perception of the adjustment process and their ability to learn and use technology. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews of 10 adults who had low vision and had attended some form of intervention. The experiences were recorded through the use of reflection that included memoing and inductive coding where themes emerged during the field process. NVivo software was utilized to clarify and present details about themes and patterns presented during the interview discussions. These themes detailed the participants' feelings of confidence and self expressed level of skills needed to use technology; the barriers to using technology, such as cost and time; and benefits of staying connected with technology. The findings from this study suggested that the ability to stay connected and to access information outweighed the barriers, although the participants expressed frustration with technological issues. The study contributed to an area of research that supports the benefits of continued training for adults adjusting to low vision. A process of training could be implemented that would involve general technology as well as assistive technology assisting individuals with continued success in their daily lives.