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How can a blind engineer access the curriculum?

Walmsley, S. and Bottom, J. (2008) How can a blind engineer access the curriculum? In: 7th European Conference on e-Learning, Agia Napa, Cyprus.

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The arrival of a student who is Blind in the School of Systems Engineering at the University of Reading has made it an interesting and challenging year for all. Visually impaired students have already graduated from other Schools of the University and the School of Systems Engineering has seen three students with visual impairment graduate recently with good degrees. These students could access materials - and do assessments - essentially by means of enlargement and judicious choice of options. The new student had previously been supported by a specialist college. She is a proficient typist and also a user of both Braille and JAWS screen reader, and she is doing a joint course in Cybernetics and Computer Science. The course requires mathematics which itself includes graphs, and also many diagrams including numerous circuit diagrams. The University bought proven equipment such as a scanner to process books into speech or Braille, and screen reading software as well as a specialist machine for producing tactile diagrams for educational use. Clearly it is also important that the student can access assessments and examinations and present answers for marking or feedback (by sighted staff). So the School also used innovative in-house tactile methods to represent diagrams. This paper discusses the success or otherwise of various modifications of course delivery and the way forward for the next three years.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
ID Code:14908
Uncontrolled Keywords:Braille, circuit diagrams, tactile, blind, visual impairment
Publisher:Academic Conferences Ltd

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