Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Vision disorders-Psychological aspects, Post-traumatic stress disorder, Ableism


This theoretical investigation examines the link between systemic ableism towards those with visual impairment and whether it elicits symptoms of Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the visually impaired. For the purpose of this thesis ableism will be defined as, –often makes the world unwelcoming and inaccessible for people with disabilities_С_ (Hehir, 2007, p.10). Meaning, barriers exist (Madriga, 2007) for those with a visual impairment. An example of a barrier for those with a visual impairment is the desire to want those with a visual impairment to read regular print instead of large print or Braille (Hehir, 2007). Society maybe be responsible for these barriers but, may not be aware of it (Madriga, 2007). Visual impairment is defined as a range beginning with a visual acuity of 20/200 or worse in the better eye to full loss of sight (The Department of Veterans Affairs, 2001). The two theories selected to appreciate my research question are Multicultural theory and Trauma theory. These two theories create a theoretical lens which provided understanding of individuals with visual impairment as an oppressed minority vulnerable to trauma. Multicultural theory allows for examining oppression from a cultural perspective. Trauma theory allows for examining the effects of ableism through the trauma lens. Throughout my studies and introductions to various theories, I consider these two theories to best exemplify and meet my research needs. Finally, as a participant observer I consider these two theories to provide a relevant theoretical perceptive to further understand whether systemic ableism elicits symptoms of PTSD.




iii, 63 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2011. Includes bibliographical references (p. 58-63)