International Journal of
Psychology and Counselling

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Psychol. Couns.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2499
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJPC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 220

Full Length Research Paper

The lived experiences of students with severe mobility impairment at Addis Ababa University (AAU): A phenomenological perspective

Walga Tamene Keinen
  • Walga Tamene Keinen
  • School of Psychology, Debre Berhan University, Debre Berhan, Shewa, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 05 May 2017
  •  Accepted: 10 October 2017
  •  Published: 31 January 2018


A qualitative approach, specifically a descriptive phenomenological approach, was used to explore the lived experiences of students with severe mobility impairment at AAU. Accordingly, nine students with severe mobility impairment in different fields of study and year level provided written descriptions to the questions posed to them. Analysis of their responses yielded three major themes, each major theme with its own sub-themes of two or more. The three major themes were subjective experiences of difficulty, dissatisfaction with the institutional and social supports available and coping strategies employed. Subjective experience of difficulty were described as temptations and challenges ever faced and which consisted of inaccessibility of facilities, fatigue and inconvenience at library, mobility- related difficulties and difficulty in accomplishing Activities of Daily Leaving (ADL). Discontentment with the institutional and social support systems available involves feelings of dissatisfaction with the financial, materials, facilities, etc provided by the university and academic and social supports from instructors, administrative staff and non-disabled fellow students. Coping strategies employed entails depending on self or on others in order to overcome the difficulties experienced.              

Key words: Students with disabilities, lived experiences, physical impairment.