Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Editor's Page

Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Editor's Page

Article excerpt

A quarter of a century ago, when I was a doctoral student, I proposed a dissertation study that used a qualitative approach for data collection and analysis. At the time, this approach was still relatively new and extremely controversial among researchers and journal editors who had been trained to believe that the only meaningful method for studying educational phenomena was to collect numerical data on the topic of interest from a representative sample, then statistically analyze those data in order to make generalizations to a larger group. My dissertation committee members were concerned about the legitimacy of such research, questioned its rigor, and wondered about the meaningfulness of not being able to identify findings as statistically significant, as occurs when a quantitative approach to data analysis is used. Eventually, they were convinced by the arguments of innovative researchers across the country who advocated that this new methodology had the potential to lead to the acquisition of a deeper understanding of a topic being studied, and I was allowed to proceed.

Today, the use of qualitative research approaches is much more acceptable and common, as evidenced by the full-length research articles that appear in this edition of the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness (JVIB). Each research team used different methods to collect data, but the unit of analysis were the words used by the various participants to describe their situations, so that we might better understand their lived experience. For example, from the study by Tutuncu and Lieberman, we learn about problems related to hotel accessibility experienced by travelers with visual impairments and what recommendations these travelers believe could be implemented to improve their experiences. …

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