Barriers and support to the inclusion of deaf and hard-of-hearing students in visual art higher education in India

Vaibhao Govindrao Athaley, Anindya Jayanta Mishra, Ila Gupta


Academic research has paid minimal attention to the experiences of deaf and hard-of-hearing students in visual arts higher education programmes and is yet to be studied in the Indian context. This qualitative study aims to identify barriers and supports deaf and hard-of-hearing students’ perceptions of a visual art higher education programme in India. Individual interviews with the assistance of a qualified sign language interpreter were conducted with 15 deaf and hard-of-hearing students at a public institute. This study highlights the experiences related to the visual art curriculum, interactions, and support services to provide a comprehensive view of their teaching and learning needs. When analysing the data through thematic analysis, the findings show that communication barriers and scarcity of support services impact deaf and hard-of-hearing students’ access to various learning situations among visual art studio and theory subjects. Recognising the efforts in India to build inclusive practices in higher education institutions, it is crucial to be aware of the learning needs of deaf and hard-of-hearing students and provide suitable accommodations. Modifications in curriculum and teaching strategies, providing adequate support services, and sensitisation of teachers and students at educational institutes are possible strategies to develop inclusive visual arts higher education programmes. 


deaf and hard-of-hearing, visual arts, higher education, teaching and learning, inclusive education

Full Text:



View Counter: Abstract | 194 | times, and PDF | 143 | times

ACADEMIA | eISSN: 2241-1402 | Higher Education Policy Network

Pasithee | Library & Information Center | University of Patras