The key purpose of the dissertation is to review and analyse, both theoretically and empirically, some aspects of social functioning of visually impaired adolescents. The special education of this group of people has very often been the subject of criticism for its neglect of certain critical social values.
The first part of the dissertation covers the ideological context of research; definitions of visual impairment and the whole range of its classification, types, etiology and effects on social functioning; it also examines phenomena such as social development, socialisation, social adaptation, and social skills and roles; and it places the above-named in a broader perspective by describing family, school and peer group environments and an individual’s self-esteem.
The second part of the dissertation focuses on the main topic areas of research, both quantitative and qualitative methodological approaches, and the instruments employed to collect data.
The concluding part of the dissertation takes the form of psychosocial and educational interpretations of the research results. In its last chapters the dissertation presents the author’s programme for using educational influence to develop social skills among adolescents in general and the visually impaired in particular. At the very end of the dissertation the author analyses the prominent function of education, including special education, in the course of an individual’s social development which some have considered to have been neglected in certain educational models and society at large.