Teiresias and the Academic Community
The primary task of the Teiresias Centre is to work for the academic community of Masaryk University in the broadest sense and not for individual handicapped students. Our task is not to offer personal services and ensure a sense of self-satisfaction - these roles belonging to institutions other than the university. The basis for our work is the assumption that the academic community as a whole is interested in the integration of handicapped applicants. We firmly believe that this is the only way to ensure the university's goal of providing education to the public. At the same time, this contact with a more socially diverse population will give the school new impulses in the areas of education and academic research (e.g. in the fields of information and library science, linguistics, sociology, psychology, political science, anthropology, etc.)
- A library and the publishing of electronic academic texts in a format accessible to the visually disabled; a library database has been created and it includes all texts written at MU after the year 2002 (in accordance with Directive 3/02, issued by the Rector) and other academic texts, both Czech and foreign, based on requirements from lecturers in programmes involving disabled students.
- A library and the publishing of tactile academic texts and graphics (maps, atlases, graphs and charts) for educational purposes as well as for the day-to-day operations of the university (tactile signs on buildings and the plans of buildings)
- A library and the publishing of acoustic and hybrid academic texts
- A special software library for people with special needs and their communication with the general public (accessible software for screen and printed texts and graphics scanning, voice and tactile PCs and other information technology outputs, electronic image enlarging and visual adaptation, synthesis and analysis of natural voice, etc.)
- Special hardware, electronic and mechanical equipment laboratory for people with special needs and their communication with the general public (personal schedulers for the blind, electronic magnifiers, special typewriters, special equipment for manual tactile writing and drawing, electronic tactile printers, fusers and vacuum sheets for tactile graphics, navigation voice equipment for the visually disabled, visual signalling and telecommunication equipment for people with hearing disabilities, equipment for the visualization of speech parameters)
- The breaking down of communication barriers (the accessibility of texts and graphics for the visually disabled for their studies and exams, the accessibility of the internet for the blind, text adaptation for the deaf, sign language interpreting and translation for studies and exams, the eliminating of architectural barriers on all university premises and public points of entry)
- Consulting services and instruction in all the above mentioned areas and providing special lectures using the above mentioned technologies.
From methodological point of view, we are of the opinion that it is primarily and naturally the respective lecturer's responsibility to arrange for the modification of relevant information into the given format using our Centre's services, as it is in the lecturer's competence to evaluate the usefulness and relevance of any information thus provided to disabled students, whose personal interest in any such adaptation is of secondary importance.
The Teiresias Centre provides for these special services for the disabled:
- Consultations the possibilities of study at MU for the disabled
- Consultations on entrance examination procedures and the organization of studies for the disabled (working with the MU Information System in accordance with Rector's Directive 4/03, "Students with Special Needs: Study Rules and Regulations, working with electronic libraries)
- Organization of exams, registration, enrolment, student's official documentation and printing
- Consultation and organization of individual study plans and special lessons
- Use of a special study facility with a library and a printer
- Information technology courses with a focus on specific disabilities and specific kinds of academic work
- Loans of hardware and software for specific kinds of academic work by the disabled
- Training in spatial orientation for the visually disabled
- Arranging and supervising digital and printing services
- Arranging and supervising interpreting and translating services for people with hearing disabilities
- Arranging and supervising assistant services