Reading interest and information needs of persons with visual impairment in Nigeria
AbstractInformation materials can only become usable to persons with visual impairment when they are transcribed into alternative formats. Over time, the transcription and provision of alternative formats in Nigeria by libraries has not been based on users reading interest and information needs. This study delves into the reading interests and information needs of persons with visual impairment in Nigeria. Survey research design was adopted and the study purposively focused on southwestern Nigeria. Using stratified proportionate random sampling techniques, data was gathered by questionnaires namely the Visually Impaired Adult Questionnaire VIAQ (= 0.75) and Visually Impaired Student Questionnaire VISQ (= 0.78) from fourteen selected libraries stratified into non-governmental, public, tertiary institutions and secondary schools. Of the 563 copies of the questionnaire that were administered, 401 (71.3%) were successfully completed and used for the study. The study found that adults with visual impairment had high reading interests in religious, business, and entertainment materials, among others. Secondary school respondents had high reading interest in art subjects, reference materials, manuals and animal story materials. Both respondents showed high information needs in expected and relevant areas. Braille materials (58.3%) are the most preferred source of information generally. Adult respondents preferred Braille (72.4%), while the secondary school respondents preferred Talking books/audio recordings (55%). Transcription and provision of information materials for the visually impaired through libraries should be based on knowledge of their reading interest and information needs.
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