UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An exploration of the role of the diversity advisor within educational teams that support students with visual impairments who are culturally and linguistically diverse Gee, Stephanie


The use of language interpreters is one method for providing information to parents who are culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) during meetings in schools. However, straight translation is often not enough. Diversity advisors are unique positions created to take on the role of becoming cultural brokers between the school and family as well as providing interpreting services. The purpose of this research was to explore the role of the diversity advisor within the context of an educational team that supports a student with a visual impairment who is also CLD. A focus group method was used to gather data from three groups on the learning team who had experience working with students with a visual impairment who are CLD: diversity advisors, classroom teachers and teachers of students with visual impairments (TVIs). Similar questions were asked of each group around perceptions of their role, interactions with other learning team members, and interactions with CLD families who have a child with a visual impairment. The transcribed data was analyzed using the thematic analysis approach to discover emerging themes, as well as areas for growth. Among the findings, common themes between the groups included a need for better role clarification, a desire for cultural understanding around visual impairment, continued communication and relationship building among team members, and the need to address concepts and terms that lose their original meaning when translated from one language to another. Potential solutions to improve interactions with other learning team members and professional development opportunities for diversity advisors in their work with families who are CLD with a child who has a visual impairment are discussed.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada