It can be quite a daunting task to start a degree, move to a new city and meet a bunch of new people. And that's for fully sighted people. For a visually impaired person (VIP), there will be additional challenges that need to be addressed. Unfortunately, many VIPs quit their degrees halfway through or do not even consider starting one. The reason for this are many and varied, but that's where this website comes in.
The authors of this blog are former students with various levels of visual impairments. We realised that over the years, we had picked up experiences and ideas for how to overcome some of the most common obstacles that VIPs face. While every visual impairment is different, and so each VIP is faced with a unique challenge, we hope that some of our collected experiences might benefit others.
The university of Sydney
(By Toby Hudson - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0)
In the blog posts, you will find stories and anecdotes detailing how we dealt with lectures, seminars, assignments and even fiddly physics experiments. While the solutions will not benefit everyone, we hope to collect experiences from a wide range of students with various visual impairments. However there are a few things which are universally recommended - for example, the ability to communicate one's needs to lecturers and support staff.
We hope that VIP@Uni will become an archive of clever solutions by VIPs who sometimes were the first visually impaired students to have studied at a particular university, sometimes doing hard work to create new pathways. We wish to show that it is indeed possible for a VIP to successfully complete a degree in higher education by telling the stories of those who have already done so.
The website is also intended as an inspiration for parents and guardians of visually impaired children. Raising a child with a visual impairment can be difficult when the right support is not available, and sending the child to university might at times seem like an impossible task. We hope that the stories collected here will also inspire parents to keep up their often very hard work - we would not be writing this were it not for the fighting spirit and persistence of our parents. While the website focuses on university studies, some of the study techniques outlined in the posts may very well apply to younger children.
This page was set up by Sofia Qvarfort and Dennis Ivarsson who are both former students from Sweden. Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or would like to contribute to this site.