Date of Award

Spring 5-20-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

PHD - Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Gail Simpson Cahill

Second Advisor

Linda Shandrick Lengyel

Third Advisor

Rodney Pennamon


Six female and two male adult learners who became blind between the ages of 20 and 75 years participated in this study conducted by a blind researcher. The purposely sampled eight were interviewed virtually by way of Zoom. In combination with Johnny Saldana’s work on codes, this study used the NVivo framework for determining structuring categories, selecting node themes, code frameworks and final codes from the first interview. 291 codes were clustered under 26 node themes. NVivo’s word frequency search and Word Tree were applied to clarify and lend a number value to participants’ codes. The second interview, administered after participants had listened and read the first, was treated to the psychological features inherent in interpretive phenomenological analysis, and the relational research tendencies drawn from Carol Gilligan and Jessica Eddy which granted participatory voice to the marginalized, their wellbeing and ways of seeing. The expert group through their codes, provided answers to three research questions: (i) what value do adult learners with visual impairment say they place on using their active imaginations; (ii) what are the various imagination experiences adult learners with visual impairments report they encounter; and (iii) what do adult learners with visual impairments believe are the factors and conditions that promote and hinder the use of their imagination and active imaginations. The blind experts reported that active imagination permeated and enhanced their memory, that is, remembering; their visualizing and picturing, and energized the use of their other senses as they created in, and navigate personal and public spaces. Imagination experiences ranged from depression to strengthening of faith, the discovery of value in caretakers to final acceptance and wholeness. The factors and conditions that hindered or promoted were spread across their 291 codes and significantly, identified changing their impressions of themselves as the point of entrance to their healing and psychological wellbeing.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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