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Promoting a balanced early years curriculum for young children with vision impairment: Developing and sustaining personal agency through a bioecological systems perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Michael McLinden
  • John Ravenscroft
  • Graeme Douglas
  • Rachel Hewett
  • Elizabeth McCann
  • Joao Roe

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    Rights statement: The final version of this paper has been published in the British Journal of Visual Impairment, 12 February 2020, by SAGE Publications Ltd, All rights reserved. © Michael McLinder, John Ravenscroft, Graeme Douglas, Rachel Hewett, Elizabeth McCann, Joao Roe, 2020. It is available at: http:// https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0264619619901036

    Accepted author manuscript, 777 KB, PDF document

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalBritish Journal of Visual Impairment
Early online date12 Feb 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Feb 2020


Through the use of their developing vision, young children develop increasingly sophisticated ways of establishing control within different learning environments, thereby helping them to exert influence as active ‘agents’. Vision impairment can present significant barriers to a child developing personal agency through reducing access to visual information. In this article, we present the parameters of a conceptual framework to inform the design of intervention approaches that can help to reduce these barriers. We draw on a dual model of ‘access’, contextualised within a bioecological systems perspective, to examine how young children with vision impairment can establish increasing personal agency through intervention approaches that promote progressive independence access skills within an ‘ethos of empowerment’. In presenting new conceptual foundations for examining the development of personal agency in young children with vision impairment, the article has significance for research, policy, and practice in vision impairment education and offers a theoretical reference point for related areas of early childhood inclusive education.

    Research areas

  • access, bioecological systems framework, early intervention, personal agency, vision impairment

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