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Experiences of mathematics students with visual impairments in higher education

Higher Education Mathematics Education Conference (HEMEC) 2008, Loughborough University (19/09/2008).

Main speaker: Emma Rowlett.

Mathematics underpins all of science and engineering and forms an important component in social sciences, humanities, business studies and many other areas. Yet mathematics and its notation present unique difficulties in the accessibility of content for students with visual impairments which are often little understood and so can be overlooked.
Accessibility in Maths, Stats and OR: LaTeX and Braille is a project funded by the Maths, Stats and OR (MSOR) Network and operated through Nottingham Trent University. As part of this mini-project, investigations have been made and field research and interviews conducted into the issues surrounding supporting students with visual impairments in MSOR subjects in higher education.
This presentation will outline the main issues faced by students with visual impairments studying MSOR subjects, for example accessing mathematical materials, producing mathematical notation and accessing equipment and software. It will also consider techniques for teaching students with visual impairments. A demonstration of mathematical notation read by a screenreader will be included.
The presentation will look to highlight key findings of the project and so highlight the key areas where accessibility in MSOR need particular consideration.