Original Research

Support to address barriers to learning for learners who are deaf

Peter Mapepa, Meahabo D. Magano
African Journal of Disability | Vol 7 | a381 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v7i0.381 | © 2018 Peter Mapepa, Meahabo Magano | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 April 2017 | Published: 22 October 2018

About the author(s)

Peter Mapepa, Department of Education, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Meahabo D. Magano, Department of Psychology of Education, University of South Africa, South Africa


Background: There is great importance in support services for successfully addressing the barriers to learning optimally or learners who are deaf. The study, though conducted in South Africa, has national and international appeal.

Objectives: The aim of the study was to identify educator reflections on support services needed for them to address barriers to learning of learners who are deaf.

Method: The study used a qualitative design for collecting data in natural settings. A sample size of 11 educators of learners who are deaf was purposively selected from two provinces of South Africa. The study used an open ended individual interview questionnaire.

Results: Data was analysed using qualitative content analysis considering the context of the schools in which the study was carried out. Results showed that there was: limited curriculum support in special schools; lack of support and inadequate teaching and learning materials; overcrowding in one school and; limited support of multidisciplinary professionals in most schools.

Conclusion: The study provided a framework for support services important for research, policy and practice. Of significance was the relevance of the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) theoretical framework in implementing support services programmes in schools.


Curriculum differentiation; differentiated assessment; Individualized Education Plans; Institution Level Support Teams; multimedia; support needs; Universal Design for Learning; visualization


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