People, unlike most animals are born vulnerable, and they need to be nurtured and raised in a safe environment to thrive and survive. Human development is holistic and complicated. Much of development is dependent on learning through senses such as sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. People need all these senses to learn the world around them. Worldwide about 253 million people have visual impairment (VI) problem (WHO, 2018). Depending on the type of visual problem (congenital or adventitious), VI makes life difficult for people infected compared to sighted people. People with VI face challenges such as unemployment, injuries through falling and accidents, low-self-esteem, isolation, depression, and difficulty in mobility within communities.
The purpose of this literature study was to congregate relevant information on VI and coping strategies in South Africa. Articles reviewed were identified through search engines such as JSTOR, Google Scholar, Boloka-NWU Institutional Repository (NWUIR), ProQuest, EBSCOHost, Scopus, Science Direct and Web of Science were the databases and search engines used in the search. The data collected was then further presented and analysed using Atlas Ti-version 8.4.23 software.
The results of this literature study found that people with VI face psychological challenges such as depression, low self-esteem, loss of self-worth and emotional distress. The results further point out that physical challenges are also experienced such as frequent falls, lack of societal resources, inability to perform daily living activities such as cooking, and transportation and mobility. Lastly people with VI also experienced social challenges and environmental challenges such unemployment, unable to use technology and poor quality of life. To cope with challenges, people with VI utilize strategies such strategic planning, meaning making, engage in mind stimulating activities, avoidance coping, substance abuse, family acceptance and optimism.
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