Welcome to the HE STEM professional development e-learning package

This collection of resources aims to demonstrate ways to help you support visually impaired and blind students who join your Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses. It has been developed following support from the South West Spoke of the National HE STEM Programme.

Whilst focusing on a particular impairment could be seen to be contrary to the social model of disability, it is felt that there is a specific need to address the barriers to inclusion experienced by visually impaired students studying STEM subjects in higher education.  Issues appear to be in accessing appropriate support, a lack of staff understanding and training in making reasonable adjustments with this group of students and the barriers imposed by the physical environment. (Sensory access in higher education: guidance report 2009)

Involving diabled people in providing training about disability is in line with the ethos of the Disability Equality Duty and to this end the voice of visually impaired students and academics have been included in this resource.  You will find FAQs, quotes, links to best practice, legislative guidance and videos galore! The latter have been pulled from a wide range of sources and do not all have captions or audio descriptions, but where possible there are links to further documents. 

I Have a Blind Student in My Maths/Science Class, Should I panic?  What do I do?  - How do I cope? 

This video covers the issues discussed above, between 3m10s and 4m25s.

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"I Have a Blind Student in My Maths/Science Class, Should I panic? How to promote inclusion for blind students" Invited speaker session by Donal Fitzpatrick, Lecturer at the School of Computing at Dublin University, at Thriving in a colder and more challenging climate, the 2011 conference of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT). Session given in Leeds, UK, on Thursday 8 September 2011 at 10.30. For information about ALT go to Made publicly available by ALT under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 2.0 UK: England and Wales license