The parenting experiences of people with vision impairment
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This study addressed the parenting experiences of adults in Israel who have a vision impairment ranging from partial sight to total blindness. It was framed within the overarching study problem of disability and was grounded in a social model of disability that identifies disability as a socio-political construction.;The study examined the significance of familial roles in the lives of disabled adults and, more specifically, the parenting role. It sought to highlight the normative aspects of fulfilling this significant role and to identify the challenges that these adults face as they negotiate their social and physical environments.;This descriptive study used a survey that combined both qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis. The quantitative component comprised two scales that measured parenting satisfaction and social support, as well as a demographic questionnaire; the qualitative element was addressed through pre-determined, open-ended questions. The data was collected through telephone interviews.;The sample comprised 70 mothers and fathers in Israel with vision impairment who had dependent children living at home. The participants were recruited through referrals and agency lists.;The hypotheses for the quantitative section of the study examined the relationships between a range of independent variables and parenting satisfaction. Many of these demographic hypotheses were not confirmed. Contrary to the expectation that families function better when they are supported by a range of formal and informal resources, such as benefits and concrete services, the parents in this study reported higher parenting satisfaction when they undertake parental tasks independently.;However, the qualitative findings indicated that although these parents need to feel autonomous and competent in their parenting role, they also need access to support services. The parents expressed their need to have a range of accessible physical resources such as cash benefits or services that, if needed, would provide assistance in carrying out some of the household or educational tasks and thereby support them in their parenting role.;The implications of the findings for the development of formal and informal services for parents with vision impairment are addressed.