Ms Ifigeneia Manitsa

Research project: The social inclusion of adolescents with visual impairments: A multidimensional approach


I am a Psychology Researcher and PhD Candidate at Kingston University London, with quantitative and qualitative research and analysis expertise interested in improving the academic and social outcomes of vulnerable and marginalised individuals with and without SEND using developmental and social psychology theories.

In my PhD thesis, I am investigating the social inclusion of adolescents with VI and its impact on their domain-specific and global self-esteem, on their academic inclusion, which I have here defined as students' academic performance and classroom participation, and on their social competence, which consists of all these social skills that individuals with VI apply in order to succeed in activities of daily living (ADLs), orientation and mobility (O&M), public encounters and personal affairs. Due to the lack of previous research, I have developed my own socioecological model in order to conceptualise social inclusion.

I really hope that my research will raise awareness about the academic and social needs of individuals with VI.

  • Research degree: PhD
  • Title of project: The social inclusion of adolescents with visual impairments: A multidimensional approach
  • Research supervisor: Dr Fiona Barlow-Brown
  • Other research supervisor: Dr Maria Livanou


I am a Psychology Researcher, PhD candidate and HP Lecturer at Kingston University London. Except for my PhD thesis, my involvement in other research projects includes the investigation of the role of (re)habilitation services in the academic and socioemotional development of children and adolescents with visual impairments, the examination of the provision of social support to individuals with visual impairments, the inclusion of adults with visual impairments in higher education, the exploration of the service experiences of young people aged between 16-25 years with SEND identifying as LGBTQ+ , the examination of trust and trustworthiness in young children and the application of psychology research methods on research projects focusing on the mental health of vulnerable adolescents and adults (e.g. substance use and eating disorders). I have been awarded several grants for my academic merit and research and one of my latest achievements was the decision of the Prime Minister of Greece to include youth entrepreneurship as a subject in all schools in the country, after the suggestions discussed in the "Innovation and Entrepreneurship at School" event, where I presented my ideas on employment and entrepreneurship of students with SEND.

I am currently teaching various Psychology modules at Kingston University and I have blended teaching expertise. I am also an Associate Fellow of the Advance HE (formerly Higher Education Academy) and a guest peer-reviewer in the British Journal of Visual Impairment and the Journal of Health Psychology.

Areas of research interest

  • SEND (special educational needs and disabilities)
  • VI (visual impairment)
  • social and academic inclusion
  • self-esteem
  • mental health
  • (re)habilitation services
  • family research
  • social support
  • early intervention and treatment strategies


  • Associate Fellowship of Advance HE (formerly Higher Education Academy)
  • MSc in Pedagogy with specialization in Special Education, Department of Pedagogy, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
  • Degree in Pedagogy from the Pedagogical School of Primary Education, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

Funding or awards received

  • Academic Impact Award Nominee - Finalist for the Best Postgraduate Teacher Award Kingston University London based on BSc and MSc students' nominations for exceptional teaching
  • Equality Diversity and Inclusion Research Fund (ediRF) Kingston University London, School of Law, Social and Behavioural Sciences Grant amount: £4,5k Project title: Exploring the service experiences of LGBTQ+ youth with special education needs and disabilities: A multi-perspective focus group study Role: Co-Investigator (2021)
  • GRS Activity Support Fund Award Kingston University London, Graduate Research School Grant amount: £200 (2021)
  • Sight for Surrey Vision Rehabilitation Services - RCP 10157 The National Lottery Community Fund and Sight for Surrey Grant amount: £10k Project title: How do specialist vision rehabilitation services impact the lives of children and adolescents with visual impairments? (2020-2021)
  • "Research during lockdown" Fund Kingston University London, Faculty of Business and Social Sciences Grant amount: £600 Project title: The impact of COVID-19 outbreak on young adults' alcohol and cigarette consumption (2020-2021)
  • PhD Research Grant Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust Grant amount: £1k (2019)
  • 1st prize for the Best New Researcher 10th Annual Faculty of Business and Social Sciences Conference, Kingston University London Paper: Self-concept in adolescents with visual impairments (2019)
  • Came first after written and oral examinations, in the field of Special Education MSc of Pedagogy Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece (2013).


Other publications

  • Manitsa, I. (2020, May). Social inclusion of adolescents with visual impairments: From Research to Practice. VIEW: The professional association of the vision impairment education workforce.
  • Manitsa, I. (2019, April). Social Inclusion. Developing Minds: Exploring Cognitive Diversity. Retrieved from

Invited talks

  • Manitsa, I. (2020). Doing research with vulnerable populations. Oral presentation at the First Annual PhD Autumn Symposium, Department of Psychology, Kingston University London.
  • Manitsa, I. (2020). Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education: Students with special educational needs. Oral presentation at IYDU (International Young Democrat Union).
  • Manitsa, I. (2019). The role of social inclusion in the self-esteem of adolescents with visual impairments. Whitefield Academy Trust, London.
  • Manitsa, I. (2019). Self-concept in adolescents with visual impairments. Oral presentation at the British Psychological Society (BPS) Postgraduate Meeting, London, UK.
  • Manitsa, I. (2018). Social inclusion and the differences in self-concept between adolescents with visual impairments and their sighted peers. Poster presentation at "Sensing Nature: Wellbeing with nature and sight impairment" Exhibition, London, UK.
  • Manitsa, I., Barlow-Brown, F. & Lyons, E. (2018). The role of friendship and the importance of social relationships on students with visual impairments and their sighted peers. Poster presentation at the Open Lecture "Children, Tablets and iPads: Concerns and New Possibilities" with Prof. David Messer. Kingston University London.
Number of items: 4.


Montague, Amy, Manitsa, Ifigeneia and Barlow-Brown, Fiona (2022) A qualitative insight into factors pertaining to alcohol consumption among young adult women during the COVID-19 outbreak. Emerging Adulthood, 10(2), pp. 511-518. ISSN (print) 2167-6968

Manitsa, Ifigeneia and Doikou, Maro (2020) Social support for students with visual impairments in educational institutions : an integrative literature review. British Journal of Visual Impairment, ISSN (print) 1744-5809 (Epub Ahead of Print)

Manitsa, Ifigeneia, Barlow-Brown, Fiona and Lyons, Evanthia (2020) Self-concept of adolescents with visual impairments. British Journal of Visual Impairment, 38(2), pp. 160-167. ISSN (print) 0264-6196

Conference or Workshop Item

Manitsa, Ifigeneia, Barlow-Brown, Fiona and Lyons, Evanthia (2019) Self-concept in adolescents with visual impairments. In: 10th Annual Faculty Research Conference: Contemporary Issues in Business and Social Sciences in a period of uncertainty; 03 - 04 Jun 2019, Kingston upon Thames, U.K.. (Unpublished)

This list was generated on Fri Jul 1 05:26:15 2022 BST.

Conference papers

  • Manitsa, I. (2020). Social inclusion of adolescents with visual impairments: From research to practice. Oral presentation at the 3rd PhD meeting between Kingston University and University of Gothenburg, Kingston University, London.
  • Manitsa, I., (2018).  The importance of social inclusion in general schools to the self-concept of adolescents with visual impairment and their differences with sighted children. Paper presented at Kingston University Postgraduate Research Conference, Kingston, UK.
  • Manitsa, I. (2018). The importance of social relationships with sighted peers to the self-concept of adolescents with visual impairment and the differences between both groups. Oral and poster session presented at "Listen to me" Multi-sensory Impairment Conference, Seashell trust Organisation, Manchester Conference Centre, UK. 

Contact me for more information.