The majority of research and writing about visual impairment is influenced by medical models of understanding, and is usually undertaken by sighted experts about those who are visually impaired. Songs at Twilight takes a different stance and uses a collaborative narrative methodology to enable the author, who is visually impaired, and thirty contributors, who are also visually impaired, to explore their experiences of living with a visual impairment and the effect this has had on their claims to identity. The dynamic research process is shown as a social construction of lived experience where questions of identity are addressed through conversation and narrative. Sighted assumptions about blindness are challenged as the author and contributors discuss aspects of diagnosis and treatment, education, employment, societal attitudes towards blindness, relationships, treatment possibilities, emotional support (including counselling) and emancipatory research practices.
About the Author: Susan Dale completed a doctorate in education specialising in narrative and life story research at Bristol University in 2009. She works as an independent counsellor, trainer and researcher. She has published in leading national and international academic journals on counselling, narrative practices and visual impairment and is author of Different Horizons: Counselling People Who Are Blind and Partially Sighted published in 2008 by RNIB Publications, and Where Angels Fear to Tread: An Exploration of having Conversations about Suicide in a Counselling Context published in 2010 by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.