We explore the experiences of Nick, a secondary school student with vision impairment in an Australian mainstream school in this study, and we particularly focus on whether he perceived his education as inclusive. We have used Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis in this single individual case as this approach explores our participant’s understandings which may be revealed by close examination of mindful experiences. The “gem” spoken by Nick (pseudonym), our 16-year old participant, was “They accept me, like as in I am there, but they just won’t talk to me.” This statement summarises his sense of not belonging, of being other, and of being bullied. The inability of his school to provide an inclusive education was apparent to him, and his often-unfulfilled need for access to specialist teachers of vision impairment is explored. Our study includes vivid quotes from Nick to bring his voice to our phenomenological interpretation.


Inclusion, Vision Impairment, Qualitative Study, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, Bullying

Author Bio(s)

Jill Opie is an experienced secondary school teacher of Mathematics/Science undertaking doctoral research studies. Her interest in students with disabilities stemmed from a desire for all students in her classrooms to reach their potential. After gaining a Master of Education (Special), she has held several positions of responsibility in mainstream schools in this area. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: jill.opie@monash.edu.

Dr Jane Southcott is an Associate Professor, Faculty of Education at Monash University. Jane is a narrative historian and a hermeneutic phenomenologist researching lifelong, life-wide community engagement with music and cultural identity. Jane is a member of the editorial boards of international and national refereed journals and is the President of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Research in Music Education. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: jane.southcott@monash.edu.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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