H810: Activity 33.4: Mathematics and music
Last year, I worked at a traditional university with a maths student who had only a little sight. There seem to be so many challenges to overcome:
- The first one was lectures - we had about 15 notetakers available but I was the only one who could manage to notetake at that level.
- The lecturer would stand at the front and illustrate the maths on the white board. I would sit next to the student and write it again in large format on A3 paper. Unfortunately by the time I had redrawn it, the lecturer was explaining the next concept so the student struggled.
- Notetaking was done manually as it was difficult to do electronic notetaking at the speed required using the Mathtype program which is screen reader accessible. The notes were then sent to a typist but she had problems using Mathtype and understanding the maths so eventually I ended up typing as well.
- The student could not access the notes for at least 24 hours as he had to wait for them to be typed so sometimes tutorials were difficult as he did not have the notes.
I have also worked with an Open Univeristy student who was studying maths. He used a screen reader and had no problem accessing the online material although parts of the summer school were a challenge. The online format provided by OU seemed much more accessible than traditional lectures. During the summer school there was a lot of discussion about the difficulties of typing maths formulae and drawing diagrams. This was much more of a problem for the OU students than it was for the ones at the traditional university who had a dedicated computer lab with demonstrators available all day and tutorials to teach them how to use the computers and maths programs.