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Name: Jana
Occupation: Bio-Medical Student
Age: 25
Gender: Female
Country: Slovakian
Jana
“Without AT it would not be possible to study at university independently.”

Jana is from Slovakia and is a student of Biomedical Engineering. She has a profound visual impairment. Visual information must be presented in alternative formats such as, braille and tactile pictures, or as audio.

Jana finished primary school without the use of Assistive Technology. At second level she began using a personal computer with a simple screen reader (there were some problems with reading e.g. graphics, figures, and sheets). With help from her parents and teachers she successfully completed second level education. She now studies Biomedical Engineering at University.

Jana has three study related aims:

  1. To be as autonomous and self sufficient as possible in her studies.

  2. To be able to look for, find, reach, gain and work with information efficiently and as quickly as possible

  3. To access information that cannot be presented in Braille or as audio, for example mathematical terms, graphics and models.

Jana now uses AT both at college and at home. The level of her disability meant that before she began using AT she could not use computers or the internet at all. Now, with AT she is a daily user, though she still finds work slow, and many sources of information inaccessible. She has no problem accessing AT information She receives it from the Slovakian Union for Blind and the Access Center at her university.

In her daily studies, she has identified strategies that make her work easier such as; lecture notes in electronic format and the preparation of tactile pictures.

In examinations Jana uses a computer with voice recognition and screen reader software and she is also allocated extra time. Her preferred form of AT training is one on one, long term (3 months) training from an experienced AT user.

Jana says the use of AT has improved her quality of life, she is more comfortable and has more self-confidence, and she can now educate herself.

The AT Jana uses are :

  • A 40 cell Braille display, for access to math formulas
  • OCR software, for scanning and reading printed material.
  • Screen reader (JAWS) with Win Talker Voice for the Slovak language – these allow her to access web pages, emails and Office applications
  • Tactile relief pictures prepared from black printed materials by the ZyFuse Heater .
  • A personal electronic note taker, Braille Lite M20 with voice output for writing and saving notes during lectures and seminars. This piece of hardware is also used as an electronic organizer and PDA
  • A Dictaphone for recording lectures as necessary.
  • A mechanical Braille typewriter for taking notes.
  • Different kinds of 3D models, prepared from wood, paper, plastic.
  • Lectures in electronic form and on audiotape

Related Assistive Technology
Name Type
Braille Displays
Braille Display
Hardware
Braille Embossers
Braille Embosser
Hardware
Braille Notetakers
Braille Notetaker
Hardware
Dictaphones
Dictaphone
Hardware
Optical character recognition (OCR) Software
OCR Software
Software
Screen readers
Screen Reader Software
Software
PDA (Personal Digital Assistant)
Hardware