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      Transformative Research Paradigm: A Response to SDG 4 by Intensifying Support Scholarships for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students at an Open Distance and E-Learning University

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            The landscape of higher education in South Africa is beset with numerous challenges including accommodating students who are Deaf and hard of hearing. The reasonable accommodation in place does not seem to redress the daily challenges faced by these students at an open distance e-learning university despite the policies and legislature in place. The Department of Higher Education and Training in South Africa, through its initiatives such as the Strategic Disability Policy Framework on Disability for the Post-School Education and Training System, aims to fast track and respond to Sustainable Developmental Goal4. This paper argues how the transformative research paradigm may be a response to this mandate. Firstly, the paradigm suggests theories such as the critical disability theory and the transactional distance theory and discusses their relevance in promoting scholarships for disability in open distance e-learning. Secondly, it highlights the transformative assumptions on ontology, epistemology, axiology, and a methodology which are often ignored when developing interventions on disability issues. The ontology helps to understand the reality through the lenses of students who are Deaf and hard of hearing, epistemology deals with acquiring knowledge of the subjects and literature, and axiology deals with the ethical considerations for the said cohort. The transformative mixed-method research deals with the inequalities and makes provisions to include, deal with, and guarantee the integration of qualitative and quantitative data sets.


            Author and article information

            UNISA Press
            7 March 2021
            [1 ] University of South Africa
            Author notes

            This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0 , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com .

            N/A N/A

            The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
            Education & Public policy,Special education
            Deaf,hard of hearing,open distance and e-learning ,student support,transformative research paradigm,transformative mixed-method research


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