Exploring wellbeing in youth with vision impairment: insights for vision rehabilitation

Ross Anderson, Narelle Warren, RoseAnne Misajon, Stuart Lee DPsych

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This article explores the discussions of 21 young Australians (aged 12–25) with vision impairment regarding their lived experiences and what it meant for them to be well. It follows calls for the development of the theoretical underpinnings for vision rehabilitation services. The youth participated in interviews or focus groups and collected complementary soundscapes and reflections during a participatory audio-recording task. Participants identified multiple valuable elements of their life contributing to the positive quality of their experiences: for example, success in their pursuits; caring, like-minded and jocular relationships; independence and freedom; and, their healthy body and associated feelings of vitality. These elements fit within four thematic domains: social connection; physical health; capability; and, control. Thematic analysis also identified two larger themes present in how participants discussed their quality of lived experience. First, their understandings of the elements in each domain and the level of value they placed on each element was determined by their contextually-situated sense of identity to which they explicitly and implicitly referred. Second, the young people’s notions of a good life were seen to sit within a conceptual space of ‘situated sameness’: they perceived the elements that they valued as also valuable to the general population, but uniquely shaped by their own vision impairment and other life circumstances. These findings suggest that vision rehabilitation providers need to adopt a more relational approach to wellbeing among youth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1183-1202
Number of pages20
JournalApplied Research in Quality of Life
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Adolescents
  • Blindness
  • Participatory
  • Quality of life
  • Visual impairment
  • Young people

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