- development of software framework which will make scientific information accessible to people with visual disabilities and blind people
- development of methodology which would enable people with visual disabilities and blind people to participate in educational courses which are not specifically addressed to them
Welcome to the website of the "ICT as a gateway to scientific education of blind people and people with visual disabilities" project (Project No. CZ/06/B/F/FP-168025). The project is co-financed by the Leonardo da Vinci Programme (Community Vocational Training Action Programme) 2000 - 2006 of the European Commission.
Blind people and people with severe visual disabilities are at this moment prevented to educate themselves in many areas of natural and technical sciences. Information in these sciences is often available only in 2D pictures or graphs, data are presented in a way which makes it very difficult for a blind person to locate relevant items.
The project will create a software framework which will make scientific information accessible to blind people and people with severe visual disabilities. The accessibility of this information will enable people with visual disabilities participate in educational courses which are not directly targeted at them. Creation of a methodology for such participation with help of the developed software framework is also part of this project.
The main focus will be concentrated on chemistry. Chemistry is a very natural basis as it integrates results of many natural and technical sciences and with its emphasis on graphical data is particularly problematic to people with visual disabilities and blind people. As education of people with visual disabilities in the field of natural and technical sciences is a very underdeveloped area, great attention will be devoted to amassing test data and their evaluation for identification of problem areas. While the project is focused on accessibility software for natural and technical sciences it is expected that prepared software tools and methodology will have general validity for any approaches of blind people and people with visual disabilities to complex information.
The relevance of effort is assured by the fact that the coordinator of the project is a blind person and several other blind people will participate in the project (the contact persons of 2 partner organizations are also blind).
It is expected that the project will not only enable people with normal vision to help blind people but that people with visual disabilities will significantly contribute back. The fact that blind people cannot use visual clues in their education means that education approaches must be very carefully tailored not to rely on visual information and to present information in a sequential and logical way. Such presentation is of course very valuable also for people with normal vision and blind people are ideally suited to discover any problematic areas in this field.