Students with Disabilities
The Faculty of Education and namely the Department of Special Education play an important role in future teachers´ preparation. Nowadays, an increasing number of student with disabilities choose special education as their future profession and study at the department. The majority of students with disabilities are students with visual and hearing impairment. The effectivity of their studies can be ensured only through an ability to meet diverse students´ needs.
The studies of students with disabilities at the Masaryk University are the subject of the directive: Directive on Studies of Students with Special Needs no. 4/03 (http://www.teiresias.muni.cz/smernice.html), issued by the rector of MU according to Par. 10 Article 1 of The Higher Education Act No. 111/1998 Col. The article 1 formulates general principles, e.g.: ... “All employees of the Masaryk University are obliged to communicate and deal with students or applicants with sensory or physical disabilities in such a way as to utmost take into account their special needs (e.g. interpretation to sign language, forms and written communication in larger print or Braille, wheelchair accessible premises, etc.). The aim is to allow the students to act independently during the meetings, without an assistant. These procedures are not put into practice only when the student/applicant asks for it and explicitly prefers a cooperation with his/her assistant…” ...
The conditions stated in the directive above are fulfilled not only by the Department of Special Education, Faculty of Education but foremost by the Teiresias Centre - Support centre for Students with Special Needs (http://www.teiresias.muni.cz). The Centre provides support to students with sensory and physical disabilities. It has special hardware and electronic and mechanical equipment laboratory; a large library and the publishing of tactile academic texts and graphics. Furthermore, it offers foreign language courses and IT courses. It arranges interpreting services or note-taking for students with hearing impairment. The note-taker takes notes of everything said during the lecture while the student with hearing impairment reads it on the monitor or the note-taker makes a record of the lecture and consequently sends it to the student.
The people at the Department of Special Education specialize in education of students with particular disabilities and they act as contact persons in case these students need any help. All members of the Department are professionals in the field of special education; therefore, they are able to care for diverse needs of students with disabilities in their subjects. The Department is a contact place for studies of students with special needs. The people at the department offer extra consultations of seminar works and final thesis, cooperate with the Study Department and help students with special needs to create their schedules and deal with their study duties.
The communication of students and teachers was improved thanks to the information system used at the Masaryk University, which allows easy and immediate contact. The system offers information on studies, contacts on people at departments and other department information. Students can quickly arrange a consultation or receive an answer to their questions.
If any special technical equipment or provision is needed, the department contacts the above mentioned university Teiresias Centre - Support Centre for Students with Special Needs. The department cooperates with other institutions and schools for students with visual and hearing impairment as well, e.g. SONS, Tyfloservis o.p.s., TyfloCentrum o.p.s., LORM, Labyrint Brno o. s., Czech Chamber of Sign language Interpreters, Union of Parents and Friends of People with Hearing Impairment and others.