«Нормально мы будем работать»: адаптация незрячих студентов в вузах
Creating an inclusive society means creating an environment that would help people, including people with disabilities, realize their potential. Higher education institutions play a special role: they are required to have higher availability standards; and it does not only involve architectural and technical requirements but also a totally inclusive education and social environment that would provide a better adaptation for people with disabilities, in particular the visually-impaired persons. The study presents four types of adaptation of visually-impaired students in the academic environment (formal, didactic, social and professional). These types are examined in terms of periods of time, namely ‘preventive’, ‘time-urgent’ and ‘long-term’ periods. Based on interviews with the visually-impaired students from Moscow universities the authors describe type-specific adaptation practices and their features. Formal and social adaption takes place at the preventive stage; professional adaptation starts only at the long-term stage. Besides that, universities lack mechanisms of adaptation support, so all the problems are tackled based on personal arrangements between the visually-impaired students and their fellow students, lecturers and administrative staff. As a rule, the visually-impaired students are responsible for organizational issues transmitting the rules of communication with people with visual impairment and also using a variety of forms of self-presentation when interacting with different agents at different stages.