Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

School of Education

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

Historically, researchers studying mathematics education for students with visual impairment (SVI) have faced several challenges. Quantitative researchers are limited by small sample sizes and the need to adapt traditional research instruments for accessibility by SVI. Qualitative research, most often conducted by sighted researchers and relying on the perspectives of sighted educators, suffers from the absence of the voices of the SVI being studied. Overwhelmingly, research on the mathematics education of SVI is explicitly grounded in deficit models of disability, falsely conflating the physical condition of impairment with the social act of disablement. Only in the past decade have critical disability studies researchers brought rehumanizing lenses and emancipatory methodologies to this field of study. Inspired by this emergence of research that repudiates normative definitions of mathematical proficiency and privileges the voices of SVI, this study utilized three methodologically distinct but conceptually unified cases to explore the mathematics experiences of visually impaired students. The first case, a narrative literature review, utilized the lens of critical disability studies to analyze historical and contemporary works of significance. It established the conceptual, theoretical, and methodological groundwork for the second case, an emancipatory study of the accessibility experiences of students enrolled in online and hybrid undergraduate mathematics courses. Data from the second case fueled the third case, an interactive, neo-futurist simulation of inaccessibility faced by SVI seeking equitable access to mathematics education; it subverted the authority of content-providers as arbiters of accessibility.

Committee Chair

Fasching-Varner, Kenneth

Available for download on Monday, June 22, 2026

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