TRUE GRIT REAPS PHD FOR VISUALLY-IMPAIRED ADVOCATE
A commitment to be an advocate for blind and disabled learners reaped rich rewards for visually-impaired Dr Praveena Sukhraj-Ely when she graduated from UKZN with a PhD in Public Policy.
Dr Sukhraj-Ely (30) was born partially sighted and became blind at the age of 12.
The title of her thesis is: ‘Inclusive Education Policy and Practice: Investigating the Educational Rights and Needs of Learners and Students with Visual Impairments in South Africa.’ The study was supervised by Professor RHJ de Kadt.
Dr Sukhraj-Ely has recently been promoted to the position of Senior State Advocate in the Litigation Unit of the Department of Justice after being employed as a Senior State Law Adviser at the South African Law Reform Commission in Pretoria.
Dr Sukhraj-Ely said she decided to study for a doctorate to raise awareness in communities about the challenges faced by visually impaired learners and students in South Africa: “I wanted to do the study because it was something close to me. I focused on inclusive education for visually impaired learners and students; as I have experienced some of those challenges first hand.”
The study evaluated the policy and practice related to including visually impaired learners mainstream schools and the inclusion of visually-impaired students at South African universities.