In Your Eyes: The Inclusion, Control and Affection Needs of the PNSB Students and their Use of Communication Technology

This study explores the formation of relationship between the visually impaired children of the Philippine National School for the Blind and their significant others, according to the manner of self-disclosure, expression of their needs of inclusion, control, affection, and other needs, and the use of new technology to communicate. The related literature suggests that much of the assistance received by the visually impaired individuals comes from their families. No local study dealing with the visually impaired children’s utilization of new technology to communicate was found.

Guided by the Theory of Self-Disclosure and Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation Theory, the study aspired to discover the role of communication in establishing the relationship of visually impaired children and their significant others. On the other hand, Technology Acceptance Model and Dependency theory were used to assess the utilization of new technology for communication.

This is a purely qualitative study, and thus several methods were used, specifically key informant interviews, focus interviews, focus group discussions, and observations.

Their needs for inclusion, control, and affection are manifested in their venues, objects, and extent of disclosure. Evidence of the use of need to form relationships with their significant others is found in the kind of relationships they have. The closer the relationship, the more open a child is to expressing his or her material and non-material needs. Furthermore, the visually impaired children are already knowledgeable in using cellphones and computers. Aside from communication, these new technologies are often used for academics and entertainment purposes. Dependence of visually impaired children on new communication technologies is evident on the changes in their cognition, feelings, and behavior. They become dependent on new technologies when they have acquired knowledge of the devices. Children who can live without cellphones and computers are usually those who do not see their uses yet, and those who do not know how to operate them.

Poserio, L. and Tan, F. (2010). In Your Eyes: The Inclusion, Control and Affection Needs of the PNSB Students and Their Use of Communication Technologies. Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis. University of the Philippines, College of Mass Communication.

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Subject Index: People with visual disabilities, Self-Disclosure--Philippines, Interpersonal relationships, Families, Technology