Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Erik Drasgow


This phenomenological study aimed to understand the Quality of Life (QOL) of six adults who are blind in the communities where they live or work. QOL is a construct that attempts to define what it means to “live the good life” (Schalock & Verdugo, 2002). To understand how individuals who are blind describe their QOL, we need a thorough understanding of how they describe their QOL based on their own lived experiences, beliefs, understandings, and attitudes towards the QOL. This study used a phenomenology method and was theoretically based on the QOL theory and its core domains and indicators, as identified by Shalock and Verdugo (2002). The study builds on previous research in blindness and QOL. Data was collected through interviews, field notes observations, documentation of demographic information, and the etiology of each participant’s visual impairment. The research question “How do adults who are blind describe their QOL?” was answered by participants’ significant and meaningful lived experiences of QOL that they shared in their interviews. The common themes that were identified through the analysis of data were (a) support from their families, (b) participants’ self-advocacy, self-motivation, and self-determination, (c) education and reading and writing Braille, (d) teachers of visually impaired and blind (TVI) and orientation and mobility (O&M) training, (e) independence, (f) support systems, (g) education community about blindness, (j) transportation, (k) learning as adults, (l) services in the community, and (k) voting. Results and findings of the study demonstrate areas that affect the QOL for adults who are blind.