Research & Projects
The counseling and support as well as the research functions of the SZS are subsidized by projects dedicated to special topics, funded by the State, the Federal Government or the European Commission. These projects span areas of interest ranging from special education to assistive technologies and the involvement of the SZS ranges from leadership to active contribution. Suggestions or invitations to collaborative projects spanning the fields of work of SZS are always welcome.
Findings from the dynamic research field of Computer Vision, which tries to teach robots and other IT systems to see people and objects, should be integrated in the research work of the Study Centre for the Visually Impaired Students within the framework of the new professorship "IT systems for visually impaired students". As such, new assistive technologies that support people with disabilities and especially visually impaired people can be developed.
Discreet, lightweight and small, integrated in the sunglasses, in clothing, or masked as accessories, these assistive systems should provide acoustic or haptic dynamic information to the user, helping thus in making the surroundings accessible and perceivable, from obstacles to informative labels and through to the streets. To this end, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology provides the ideal background: besides the possibility to integrate disciplines like Robotics or Electrical Engineering, it also puts forward the expertise of SZS, with its accumulated cooperation with visually impaired employees and students, offering thus impulses to research and research transfers that meet users' needs.
A fundamental issue addressed by the SZS is the accessibility of mathematical content for visually impaired people. SZS participates constantly in projects which strive on the one hand to optimize the understanding and way of working with scientific mathematical content while on the other hand facilitate the creation of such mathematical content for visually impaired students. Accessible tools like TeXnicCenter and LaTeX are being used in this context. Periodical trainings keep the visually impaired students as well as the SZS employees and assistants up to date.