n Mousaion - Information seeking behaviour of blind and visually impaired students : a case study of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg Campus




Based on a study for a master's dissertation, this article reports on an investigation of the information seeking behaviour of blind and visually impaired students. It investigated whether the services provided by the University of KwaZulu-Natal on its Pietermaritzburg campus (hereafter UKZN-PMB) accommodated the information seeking behaviour of blind students and those with visual impairments. The theoretical framework for the study was Wilson's (1996) Model of Information Behaviour, Belkin's (1982) Anomalous State of Knowledge approach and Oliver's (1996) Social Model of Disability. Blind students and those with visual impairments, the subject librarians from the Main Library and the Disability Unit (DU) Co-ordinator were surveyed. The study revealed that the students exhibited information seeking behaviour that included the DU staff as an indispensable part of information access. Recommendations include developing a strategy to implement the UKZN disability policy and allocating a sufficient budget for the purchase of assistive devices or, preferably, incorporating principles of universal design in the information system.


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