AUDIENCE RECEPTION OF ALCOHOL ABUSE MESSAGES AMONG THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED IN KENYA

Brian Abook, Abraham Kiprop Mulwo, Fredrick Njoroge

Abstract


Visual impairment is viewed as one of the most threatening disabilities. About 40-50 per cent of the people with disabilities who have visual impairment may be categorized as heavy drinkers. Most studies conducted to establish the information needs of visually impaired people have concentrated on the format of the information. Yet, accessible health information is key to reducing health inequalities in health care experienced among the visually impaired. Very few empirical studies have examined the health information needs of the visually impaired. Some of the gaps related to the types of health information include non-format aspects like the content type, timing and sender of the messages. This study investigates the audience reception of alcohol abuse messages among the visually impaired in Kenya. Using a purposive sampling procedure, 25 participants with visual impairment were identified from rehabilitation centres and institutions for the PWDs within Nairobi County. Data was generated through in-depth interviews, then recorded, transcribed, analyzed thematically, and presented in narrative form according to the themes. Study findings indicate that people with visual impairment were unconformable with the way media consistently portrays them as needing assistance and as an instrument of sympathy to elicit mercy. The visually impaired face difficulties satisfying their information needs through media content that focuses more on visuals and less on audio description. Their exclusion made them perceive that messages were only targeting the general population and thus were not as effective. Nevertheless, they sought assistance from intermediaries such as religious leaders, local authorities, teachers, friends, and close family members when they faced difficulty interpreting messages. Intermediaries largely buffered their challenges in interpreting messages. Apart from tailoring messages to suit the needs of the visually impaired, there is a need to involve them in actively developing and disseminating messages in Kenya.

 

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Keywords


people with disabilities, visually impaired people, audience reception, messages, alcohol abuse, Kenya

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejse.v8i3.4358

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