[Blindmath] Making the University classroom more accessible

vincent martin vincent.martin at gatech.edu
Thu Nov 5 16:37:52 UTC 2015

I am a totally blind Ph.D. student in Human Centered Computing at Georgia Tech.  I have previously earned four STEM degrees.  I have worked as a rehabilitation engineer and research scientist and have advise a number of undergraduate and graduate level teams on similar projects.  The first thing I always advise the teams to do is a very thoroughly literature review.  As a graduate student doing research, it would be the first thing you would normally consider, but most undergraduates have never been taught how or why to do it.  
What you are asking in your survey is far too wide of a scope to assist you.  You can end up going in so many directions and may end up recreating the exact thing that someone just did a few months ago.  You can search the Journal of the Visually Impaired and the Blind, ACM's SIG Access (ASSETS) and the SIGCHI (CHI) journals for a vast number of projects related to creating access for people with visual disabilities.
You can also just use any search engine for search words pertaining to this topic and the browser will give you many directions to go int.  So many products/projects end up on some news program, but really are just class projects created for a class for too many times to count.

-----Original Message-----
From: Blindmath [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Goda Biekšaite via Blindmath
Sent: Thursday, November 5, 2015 10:23 AM
To: blindmath at nfbnet.org
Cc: Goda Biekšaitė <goda.bieksaite at gmail.com>; Lily Elshaktori <lilyelshaktori at gmail.com>; Priyanka Mohata <pmohata.95 at gmail.com>; Gareth Humphries <garethjhumphries at gmail.com>; Poppie Simmonds <poppie.leigh at gmail.com>
Subject: [Blindmath] Making the University classroom more accessible

Hello all,

We are 3rd year Computer Science students at the University of Birmingham.
As part of our course, we are studying a module called Software Design Study, in which we research and design a solution to an existing real life problem. Our team is looking into further aiding visually impaired students in a classroom setting.

We are in the early stages of our research and would like to speak with as many visually impaired students, teachers of the visually impaired or anyone else who works in this area.We would like to get a better understanding of learning and teaching techniques used, problems faced and areas for improvement.

We have made a questionnaire and it would help us greatly if you could answer some or all of the questions, and if there is anything that you would like to add, or even if you would just want to share your experience
- we would really appreciate it.

We can't wait to hear from you,



If you’re a student:


   What software are you using in the classroom currently?

      How accessible is it?

      How easy to master is it?

      On average, how much time do you spend using the assistive software
      in the classroom?

   Did you go to a school or university for visually impaired?

      IF YES:

         What techniques did they use to teach mathematics?

         How did they explain the different geometrical objects? Both 3d
         and 2d.

         How did they explain graphs and visual representations of formulae?

         What techniques are used to draw and represent graphs?

      IF NO:

         What techniques did the teachers use to integrate visually
         impaired into the classroom?

         Did the teachers write and explain things on the board, if so how
         did they accommodate you?

         Did you have anyone or use any special technology to assist you in
         the classroom?

         Was there anything that you think you missed out in the

   If you could change one thing about how the lectures are going at the
   moment and the support that you get - what would it be?

   What would be a perfect piece of technology for you (regardless of what
   has been created already. Please. Go wild)

If you’re a teacher:


   What techniques have you used to better accommodate the visually
   impaired students?

   What difficulties have you noticed that visually impaired students

   What subjects and areas do the students struggle the most?

   What support systems/technologies do you use in your classroom or for
   preparation for the classes?

   What additional preparation do you make to cater for visually impaired
   students in the classroom?

   How familiar are you with the assistive technologies that the students
   might use?

   How did you explain (if you ever had to) graphs, geometric forms, 3d and
   2d objects, trajectories and distances?

   What support do you get from your University or School/College?
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