student profile: Ms Natalie Kaine


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Thesis work

Thesis title: What benefits arise from engaging children, aged 5 to 14 years who are blind or have low vision, in structured career education activities?

Supervisors: Roger STANCLIFFE , Christine CHAPPARO

Thesis abstract:

BACKGROUND There are high unemployment rates (58%) amongst Australians of working age who are vision impaired (Vision Australia, 2012). While most children learn about work by incidentally observing others working, vision impaired students need targeted opportunities to acquire that knowledge. Families are key in promoting positive attitudes about working and can foster their child’s future employability. Career education is part of the Expanded Core Curriculum (Sapp & Hatlen, 2010). The Career Education model (Wolffe, 2014) proposes six stages of lifelong learning about work. Competencies in the first three stages (awareness, exploration, preparation) should typically develop across childhood and adolescence. Vision Australia offers career education programs, with the assumption that with age appropriate intervention, vision impaired students could develop those necessary skills, on par with their sighted peers. A long-term research project will investigate measurable benefits of engaging vision impaired students in structured career education activities. A pilot study will be conducted in 2016 and 2017. OBJECTIVE OF PILOT STUDY To identify the perceptions of student preparedness for employment from vision impaired students, families and vision support teachers. METHODS Qualitative methods, employing focus groups with: 1. Vison impaired students (15 - 20 years), 2. Parents of vision impaired students, 3. Vision support teachers. KEY FINDINGS Themes from qualitative data analysis describe areas of career education that are experienced by participants as effective or require attention. These findings will inform the long term study for younger students, aged 5 to 14 years, who are vision impaired. CONCLUSION This study will contribute to the Australian knowledge base on career education with vision impaired students.

Selected publications

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Conferences

  • Kaine, N., Stancliffe, R., Chapparo, C. (2017). Preparedness of vision impaired students for future employment: views of students, families and vision support teacher. South Pacific Educators in Vision Impairment (SPEVI) Biennial International Conference 2017, Brisbane, Australia: SPEVI South Pacific Educators in Vision Impairment.

2017

  • Kaine, N., Stancliffe, R., Chapparo, C. (2017). Preparedness of vision impaired students for future employment: views of students, families and vision support teacher. South Pacific Educators in Vision Impairment (SPEVI) Biennial International Conference 2017, Brisbane, Australia: SPEVI South Pacific Educators in Vision Impairment.

Note: This profile is for a student at the University of Sydney. Views presented here are not necessarily those of the University.