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Grounded Theory and Disability Studies: An Investigation Into Legacies of Blindness B ...

Chapter 1:  Introduction
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Grounded Theory and Disability Studies:

Chapter 1



In October 1993, I began a study of art classes for blind adults at Leicester University, United Kingdom. In my initial reading on the topic, it appeared that the majority of research that existed on blindness in the arts was experimental (Hayhoe, 2003, 2005a, 2008b; Gregory, 1974; Kennedy, 1974; Revesz, 1950). The only writing on the issue of learning was about classroom practice and perception, although this occasionally included action research–style evaluations of teaching practices, curricula, and policies (Harris, 1979; Hayhoe, 1995, 2008a; B. Lowenfeld, 1981; V. Lowenfeld & Brittain, 1987). Most importantly, I found that there were no specific methodologies for the study of this topic, no specific descriptions of social scientific fieldwork with blind people, and no theories to test or evaluate these social settings.

After reading more broadly on the topic of disability in education, I found that theories appeared to focus on the level of participants’ impairments, and they were almost all based on studies of children and pedagogy (Hayhoe, 2005a, 2008b). Consequently, I set about developing an initial research model from the fieldwork that I was starting to conduct,