It has been argued that “there is no widely accepted typology of MM (mixed methods) sampling strategies” (Teddlie & Tashakkori, 2009, p. 185). Since the proposed research aims to investigate educators’ perceptions and experiences of the use of technology to support the learning of children with hearing impairment, visual impairment and intellectual disabilities in Saudi Arabia, the sampling strategy will purposefully target schools that offer learning for children with the aforementioned disabilities. Purposive sampling involves selecting a sample based on the understanding of a population (Babbie, 2008). It is also premised on the supposition that the researcher aims to discover, comprehend and gain insight; and for that reason, must choose a sample from which the most can be learned (Merriam, 2009).
A purposive sample is thus one where individuals from a pre-specified grouping are purposively identified and sampled (Gerrish & Lacey, 2010). Such an approach is not so much concerned with random sampling since it aims at getting a sample of information-rich research participants (Struwig & Stead, 2001). This implies that the participants manifest certain features that the researchers in question are interested in (Struwig & Stead, 2001).
Specifically, the sampling process will only target those special education schools that offer learning to children with the disabilities that have been discussed. For each of the three identified disability category, three schools will be selected. In total therefore, nine schools will be sampled for inclusion in this study. The selection criteria for each sampled school will be a requirement to have only one separate specialisation in teaching students in each of the three disability categories identified herein. In total, therefore, three schools sampled for inclusion in this research will be specialised in teaching students with visual impairment.
Another three schools will be specialised in teaching students with hearing impairment, while the third category of schools will be specialised in teaching students with intellectual disabilities. The schools will be identified by the researcher based on information that is publicly available about these schools (i. e. the schools offer education to children with hearing impairment, visual impairment and intellectual disabilities). For each of the disabilities, three schools will be identified, making the number of schools to be targeted for the research to be nine.
The schools will be selected from three regions of Saudi Arabia (Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam) due to the convenience and accessibility. 32Kingdom of Saudi Arabia provides education to people with special needs (auditory disability), (visual disability) and (intellectual education) through institutes supervised by The Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia such as Al Amal Institute, Al Noor Institute and Institute of Intellectual Education. 33 Al Amal Institute is one of the specialised institutes in auditory disability. Education in Al Amal Institute is based on taking educational directions in teaching.
The educational system starts in the primary stage from the age of eight years, and these institutes apply curricula in line with those in public education. As for Al Noor Institute, it is the nucleus of private education in Saudi Arabia for visual disability. It provides educational, rehabilitative and cultural programs. Most Al Noor Institutes follow the boarding school system which includes a residential section to stay in. In addition, The Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia provides all institutes with a version of its teachers' and students' textbooks customized and recorded by The Central Talking Library.
The third type of targeted schools in this research is Institute of Intellectual Education. Saudi Arabia established these institutes for intellectual education. It starts with the qualifying stage which lasts for two years and is followed by the primary stage which is six years long. During this period, students, according to their abilities, receive reading and writing classes and, besides that, giving them basic skills. There is an integrated approach for the students, and special printed books are available for them.
The students are subject to continuous evaluation all over the whole year, and based on reports, the growth of the students' abilities and their collected grades are determined and thus transferred to the next stage (Afeafe, 2000)34