The article comes to a research-based conclusion: among the primary population of the disabled—the Deaf, the Blind, and the Physically-challenged—which is more naturally intelligent with superior cognitive ability and records far better academic performances?
Let us look into different learning styles adopted by individuals as reported by experts and educational psychologists.
The Deaf and learning characteristics
The majority of deaf students are known to be academic underachievers compared to their hearing counterparts. Hearing is essential for learning and for balancing. Hearing loss poses a great challenge to students with deafness to acquire information. Thus, deaf students and individuals are mainly visual learners. These learners need to see information to process it. Visual Learners can utilize graphs, charts, maps, diagrams, and other forms of visual stimulation to effectively acquire information.
But deaf students cannot learn in the abstract. They cannot cope with complex informational text or things that are not concrete. These important attributes make it particularly difficult for them to compete successfully with their hearing counterparts. Ultimately, the majority of deaf students record poor academic achievement.
The physically-challenged and learning characteristics
The physically disabled have poor body image, high anxiety, and frustration. They are found to be quiet, conforming, tender-minded, and somewhat tense. Social relationships constitute a problem area for many crippled people. Their capacity for frustration tolerance is lower than normal people.
Students with physical disabilities almost cannot carry out an activity almost independently of others. It is difficult for them to ‘carry through’. This, and many other factors undermine their capacity to compete at a higher level for exceptional academic achievement.
The Blind and learning characteristics
Students and individuals with visual impairment have a peculiar way of learning. Blind students are mainly auditory learners. They learn through listening. Blind students, as auditory learners, must depend on listening and speaking as a main way of learning. They must be able to hear what is being said to understand. Although, while they may have difficulty with instructions that are drawn, if the writing is in a logical order it can be easier for them to understand. We learn that blind students also use their listening and repeating skills to sort through the information that is sent to them. They have acute auditory organs that are effective for hearing and filtering information.
Auditory abilities in profound blindness and learning implications
Research found that for every sensory impairment (such as blindness or deafness), there is an accompanied compensation—in form of enhanced ability in another sensory organ. Blind people are known to be exceptionally good listeners. Their visual deprivation has afforded them the enhanced capacity to depend disproportionately on their ears to interact with their environment—thus making them process information more rapidly
Conclusion: There is significant evidence that blind students and individuals who are auditory learners are far superior learners than other users of different learning styles. Hearing is critical to learning and processing information. The blind have no significant emotional anomalies. They could have more of their brain to use for thought processing than a deaf or physically-challenged student with vision. Experts assert that our eyes are like clear lenses using a jumbled projector. To unjumble the image, we use our brain to reverse the image and to remove blind spots due to blood vessels, and to combine the 3 colour cones.
This all takes processing “space” which a blind person would not have used up for image processing thus, more of the brain might be available for memory or through processing.
Verdict: Students and individuals with visual impairments are more naturally intelligent with superior cognitive abilities and record far better academic performances.