University preparation and the work capabilities of visually impaired graduates in Ghana: a tracer study
Odame, L and Osei-Hwedie, B and Nketsia, W and Opoku, MP and Arthur, BN, University preparation and the work capabilities of visually impaired graduates in Ghana: a tracer study, International Journal of Inclusive Education, 25, (11) pp. 1287-1304. ISSN 1360-3116 (2021) [Refereed Article]
Copyright 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities requires state parties to make deliberate laws, policies and administrative measures to safeguard the right to work of persons with disabilities. However, many countries, such as Ghana, run afoul of this requirement. Currently, there are intense campaigns in Ghana aimed at prioritising the education of persons with disabilities so as to enable them to explore their potential. Moreover, universities have demonstrated commitment towards the inclusion of persons with disabilities. However, little is known about the university preparation of persons with disabilities, the transition of graduates with disabilities from school to work and the attitudes of peers towards them. This study focused on visually impaired (VI) graduates because of their large population in Ghana and their unconventional mode of communication. Using a tracer approach, 24 VI graduates and their employers/supervisors were recruited to explore their views on the transition process from university to work and their job-related competencies and challenges. The results showed that VI graduates acquired relevant work-related capabilities such as time management, interpersonal and team work skills from their university education. However, they encountered considerable challenges during their transition period and were confronted with barriers such as lack of assistive technologies and communication equipment at work. There have been discussions about the need for direct university involvement in the transition process, engagement with other stakeholders to facilitate job searches and for employers to make reasonable accommodations for VI graduates in the workplace.
university graduates, work capabilities, visual impairment, Ghana, tracer study