The centre is a purpose-built facility which operates across the university. Its aim is to provide the greatest possible access for students with disabilities, whether sensory, physical or mental, to be able study at MU.
It was founded in 2000, firstly as a centre which served blind and partially-sighted students (hence the name Teiresias, which refers to the mythical blind clairvoyant), and then from 2003 it broadened its activities to services for students with hearing and physical disabilities, and most recently mental as well.
The Teiresias centre now functions mainly in the following areas:
- As a learning centre with a wide range of courses which support or replace regular teaching
- Methodological and advisory centres not only for students and employees of MU, but also for similar workplaces in other Czech universities or even secondary schools.
- A research centre developing its own technology
- A centre of interpreters and note takers
- And last but not least we run a braille publishing house and national digital libraries
The spectrum of services which the centre provides reflects the requirements which the university places on students who are studying, or on applicants who are preparing to study. In addition to providing these regular services during their studies (organisational, technical and technological), we also offer students special technical and methodological preparation for the application process, and also for the entrance exams themselves and how they are organised, so that students with disabilities are able to take the standard entrance exams – using alternative communicative and perceptive means.
The Teiresias centre has its own study department, which organises the provisions for students with specific needs – from designing a comprehensive individual study plan, providing individual instruction, to the occasional administration of final tests in particular subjects. Apart from organisational support, students with disabilities also have the chance to make use of the services which provide them with physical and sensory access to the classes they are attending – typically personal assistance for those with limited mobility or interpreting and note taking for those with impaired hearing.
The actual study facilities of the Teiresias centre are now made up of 12 study rooms with almost 50 study places equipped with computers with special hardware and software, which serve primarily for one-to-one teaching, or for students working on their own. Various sets and kits of specially programmed equipment allow users with different types and degrees of disability to work.
Providing comprehensive study support for students of various fields of study necessarily brings with it a whole scale of technical issues which are an inseparable part of the activity, but are not always available. For this reason the Teiresias centre is involved, through research and the development of appropriate technology and specific technological approaches, in research projects and other activities whose primary aim is to improve access for students with disabilities to the university environment.
The centre for help for students with specific requirements in figures
- In the academic year 2011/2012 there are 102 students with visual impairments, 111 students with hearing impairments, 63 students with limited mobility, 106 with specific learning disabilities and 40 with other disabilities studying at MU.
- We employ 44 permanently employed personnel and 77 external assistants.