The SZS does not only offer classroom training but also provides material for self-studies.
The aim of these training courses is to optimise and improve the students’ working techniques based on their individual impairments. This supports a smoother study process. Our training offers are described below.
Students with visual impairment are repeatedly confronted with new barriers during their lectures. This is why we jointly develop new solutions or modify existing training courses in our Accessibility Lab.
The document preparation system LaTeX has proved itself in schools, studies and work life for decades, especially when dealing with mathematics and scientific texts. LaTeX is known world-wide and allows visually impaired persons to work with mathematical texts and to independently write nicely formatted scientific texts as well as presentations. As a means of exchange with seeing students LaTeX plays an integral role for visually impaired students. Although LaTeX has found its way since long, especially in inclusive teaching, the students have different levels of knowledge at the beginning of their studies which can be improved as needed. For students with progressive eye disease it might be necessary to switch from the working methods of seeing persons to those of blind persons (e.g. use of PC instead of handwriting). In this case LaTeX plays a central role.
We also teach accessible editors such as TeXnicCenter or TeXlipse which facilitate the use of LaTeX textual notation.
At the SZS we produce affordable tactile graphics on paper. This kind of graphics is not well known to new students. At school swell paper is often used. Apart from this, the students have different levels of knowledge on recognising, understanding and interpreting tactile graphics. Especially in scientific and technical studies it is helpful to be familiar with tactile material to understand learning contents so this is why this is taught at the SZS.
Presenting learning contents is part of studying and often also in professional life. With the help of visual programs the contents can be designed and projected to a screen. Persons with visual impairment often have no idea how a slide may look on a screen, which tools can be used to design such a presentation, how to conduct a presentation on their own, which compensatory techniques exist and last but not least how to enter the stage and which effect they have on others.
The SZS offers training in this field which is individually adjusted to the student’s personality and his/her limitations and also tested.
Dealing with non-accessible documents
Non-barrierfree websites, scanned texts which are only available as graphics, encoded PDF documents and non-compatible formats are everyday life of visually impaired students. Fortunately, most of these barriers can be overcome – know how!
The use of different tools such as optical character recognition (OCR), converters and special editors may be of help. All these techniques are taught at the SZS.