Stránky Pedagogické fakulty Masarykovy univerzity


Complex Support of Untergraduate Students with Disabilities

The Centre of Special Pedagogical Support at The Department
of Special Education

Zita Sýkorová

       Sufficient information technology basis is an important part of a quality special pedagogical support given to the students with special educational needs at university level. It is significant most of all at the students with visual impairments, the hearing impaired, the physically disabled individuals or the undergraduates with specific learning difficulties.
       The Department of Special Education at The Faculty of Education of Masaryk University Brno had been progressively solving the possibility of being equipped by an appropriate IT and within this task the department took the opportunity to participate in the european programme Leonardo da Vinci. With its head, prof. PhDr. Marie Vítková, CSc., during years 1999-2001 the department participated in the project „ Improvement of the Access to Education and Employment of People with Special Needs“  that rose up under the european programme Leonardo da Vinci and where the main partners of one among four branches appeared The Department ofSpecial Education in Brno together with Computer Centre for People with Disabilities in London. The project aim was the maximalization of the access to education to students with SEN and by that improvement of their access to employment.       

      To intermediate this aim a training and support computer centre at The department of Special Education was set up and that starts to run in autumn 2000.

The centre is meant to serve two target groups:
Česká verze

English version

  • all special education courses students who encounter a new specialiazed software (or hardware) for the handicapped persons within their specialization subjects. That will affect their readinness for their future work with IT for the pupils with SEN which consequently will influence these pupils´ better possibilities for unviversity approach.

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  •  university students with special educational needs can take the opportunity of the centre menu during their studies together with the possibility of using the services offered by the external or university support organizations.
      The centre stays open to other faculty students as well who would be interested in this issue, the general introducing to special pedagogical information technology will be included into the subject „Integrative special education“.
       The „father“ of the training computer centre at the department became the London Computer Centre for People with Disabilities. This centre is occupied with diagnosing the information-technological needs of university students with SEN in Great Britain. Although it was founded fifteen years ago at Westminster University only for the blind and hard of hearing individuals, these days this independent centre  works throughout the whole country and supports other newly founded centres. A big number of clients is consisted of the students with specific learning difficulties (dyslexic students) who meet their problems especially when writing essays that have such an important position in the west european credit system.
       Many of the CCPD employees work also as a part-timers at universities as so called Disability Officers who are equivalent to our consulting specialists to the students with SEN. It is a good opportunity to compare the immediate needs of university students with practical needs of specialized software and other technical aids.
       Apart from offered testing materials the cooperation between the department and CCPD consisted mainly of experience, ideas exchange and human support.
       Meanwhile there were happening the exchange visits of CCPD and the department, it was found out, thanks to The United Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted, that the software within used by the visually impaired persons in The Czech Republic is high quality and is fully comparable with abroad products. As a near future task the issue of supporting the students with specific learning difficulties occured and that the department reacts on with setting the training centre.
       We might say that thanks to the human and infromation technology resources The Department of Special Education is gradually becoming a main contact place for the whole faculty and university. Its cooperation with external institutions of special pedagogical support is done through consultationg various problems and especially throughs wider possibility of choosing external lecturers for the department courses.

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D.Kalasek@seznam.cz

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