Background Vision is not a requirement for independent mobility. Students with visual impairment faces more challenges in their studies compared with sighted peers as a result of gap in speed, volume and distance of obtaining information which cannot be adequately quantified resulting in mobility related injury such as head-level, strips and fall.
Method Thirty undergraduates with visual impairments were surveyed and interviewed on frequency, nature and causes of head-level and fall injuries they encountered at the university. Mobility related injury questionnaire was administered using purposive sampling technique. The questionnaire has four themes: demographical information, travel habits, head-level accidents and trip/fall accidents. Data were computed with SPSS version 20.
Results 73.3 percent of the participants were male while 26.7 percent were female. 80 percent of the respondents stated that they use mobility aids, out of which 66.7 percent are cane and sighted guide users. 22 (73.3%) of respondents reported to have prior knowledge of orientation and mobility, while 10 (33.3%) has not receive lecture in orientation and mobility since their enrolment at the institution. Majority of the participants has encountered head-level injury with 22 (73.3%) and 8 (26.7%) affirmed that the injury is with medical consequences and bed rest respectively. 28 (93.3%) of trip and fall had resulted in person with visual impairment changing their walking strategy and 53.3 percent claimed that their confidence as an independent traveller is not affected by the fall. There is a significant association between independent traveller confidence and having the opportunity to have received lectures in O& M since enrolled at the university (r = −0.189, ∞=0.5).
Conclusion The interview enabled us to see the risk involve in independent mobility experienced by students with various degree of vision loss. Head level injury and fall which learners experience more often needs to be addressed by the school authority.
- visual impairment
- mobility aids
- head level
- fall injury