Brian Abook, Abraham Kiprop Mulwo, Fredrick Njoroge


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.


Article visualizations:

Hit counter


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

Full Text:



A. Silverblatt, D. C. Miller, J. Smith, & N. Brown (2014). Media Literacy: Keys to Interpreting Media Messages, 4th Edition: Keys to Interpreting Media Messages (4th ed.). ABC-CLIO, Incorporated

B. Y. Kentab, K. Z. Al-Rowiali, R. A. Al-Harbi, N. H. Al-Shammari, W. M. Balhareth, H. F. Al-Yazeed (2015). Exploring medication use by blind patients in Saudi Arabia, Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 102-106, 2015.

Baloch, R.; A., Ayesha (2017). Visual Planet for Blind: Impact of Mass Media on Visually Impaired Viewers in Pakistan. Journal of the Research Society of Pakistan; Lahore Vol. 54, Iss. 2,

BCA: Blind Citizens of Australia. (2018). Health Issues for People Who Are Blind- Access to Health Services for People Who Are Blind. Retrieved from:

Beverley C. A., Bath P. A., Booth A. (2004). Health information needs of visually impaired people: a systematic review of the literature. Health Soc Care Community;12(1):1-24. PMID: 14675361.

B., Robyn (2015). Integrated Marketing Communication: Creative Strategy from Idea to Implementation, Second Edition. Retrieved from:

B. Hee Lee and Y. Jeong Lee (2018). Evaluation of medication use and pharmacy services for visually impaired persons: Perspectives from both visually impaired and community pharmacists. Disability and Health Journal, Volume 12, Issue 1: Pages 79-86

Bourne R. R., et al. (2017). Magnitude, temporal trends, and projections of the global prevalence of blindness and distance and near vision impairment: A systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet Global Health 2017; 5(9): e888-97.

Cardinal Stefan Śmiechowska-Petrovskij, E. (2017). The stigmatizing and stereotyping people with blindness. The opposite tendencies. Forum Pedagogiczne, 7(2), 305-326.

Chifamba, E., Mvundura, W., & Tagarirofa, J. (2011). Institutionalized Stereotyping: Perceptions and Experiences of The Visually Impaired on The Media's Social Marketing of The HIV and AIDS Pandemic: A Case of The Visually Impaired People at Kapota School of the Blind. Url:

Creswell, J. W. (1998). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five traditions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage

F. J. Guimarães, S. Senna Moreno, J. Gomes de Barros, J. Galdino, A. Perrelli and I. da Silva Frazão (2020). Consumption of Alcohol by Blind People. International Journal of Development Research 10(10):41432 DOI:10.37118/ijdr.20256.10.2020

Kim, H., Koo, H., Oh, J. M., & Han, E. (2017). Qualitative Study for Medication Use among the Hearing Impaired in Korea. Korean Journal of Clinical Pharmacy, 27(3), 178–185.

M. Szubielska, M. Wojtasiński, K. Pasternak, A. Szymańska, M. Wójtowicz (2020) Does Art Activism Affect Pre-school Children's Attitudes towards Individuals with Blindness?. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education 0:0, pages 1-11.

M. Kramish Campbell, M. Allicock Hudson, K. Resnicow, N. Blakeney, A. Paxton, M. Baskin (2007). Church-Based Health Promotion Interventions: Evidence and Lessons Learned. Annual Review of Public Health 2007 28:1, 213-234

Ostrowska, A. (1994). Niepełnosprawni w społeczenstwie: Postawy spoeczenstwapolskiego wobec ludzi niepełnosprawnych [Disabled in Society. Attitudes of Polish Society towards People with Disabilities]. Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Instytutu Filozofii i Socjologii


Pagliuca, L. M. F., Cezario, K. G., & M., M. Ribeiro. (2009). Blind men and women' perceptions of the use of illegal drugs. Acta Paulista de Enfermagem, 22(4), 404-411.

University of Washington. (2016). Disability Stigma and Your Patients [Factsheet]. Aging Well with a Physical Disability Factsheet Series. Healthy Aging & Physical Disability RRTC:

Veltman A., Stewart D. E., Tardif G., Branigan M. (2001). Perceptions of primary healthcare services among people with physical disabilities. Part 1: access issues. Medscape Gen Med 2001; 3: 18.

Vergunst, R., Swartz, L., Hem, K. G., Eide, A. H., Mannan, H., MacLachlan, M., Mji, G., Braathen, S. H., & Schneider, M. (2017). Access to health care for persons with disabilities in rural South Africa. BMC health services research, 17(1), 741.

Williamson, K., Schauder, D. & Bow, A. (2000). Information seeking by blind and sight impaired citizens: an ecological study. Information Research, 5(4) Available at:

World Health Organization. (2018). Disability and Health. Retrieved from:

Zhi-Han, L., Hui-Yin, Y., & Makmor-Bakry, M. (2017). Medication-handling Challenges among Visually Impaired Population. Archives of Pharmacy Practice, 8(1), 8+.


Copyright © 2015 - 2023. European Journal of Special Education Research (ISSN 2501 - 2428) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing GroupAll rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms.

All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).