The Support Centre for Students with Special Needs is a central university body (40 full-time equivalents) of Masaryk University in Brno (CZ) which has a long experience in providing special educational and technological services to more than 30% Czech university students with sensorial disability who are included into the study programmes of Masaryk University:

  • publishing house and public electronic library of academic texts in a variety of accessible formats (hybrid books)
  • interpreting services to the deaf
  • speech-to-text reporting to the hard-of-hearing
  • special IT services (including software development), providing technology for people with special needs
  • alternative teaching and consulting services

The centre has a team of deaf teachers and linguists who are teaching Czech and Czech Sign Language and supervising services provided to the deaf and hard-of-hearing students (interpreting, speech-to-text reporting, translating documents into Czech Sign Language etc.) The team is also managing an online Czech Sign Language dictionary in cooperation with all important national partners active in the field.

Since its establishment in 2000, Teiresias centre has been a leading organization in creation of universally designed learning environment and praxis at the university level in the Czech Republic. Being one of the first institution able to accept students with all kind of disabilities made Masaryk University the biggest educator of disabled students in the country (30% of all disabled university students in the country).

Basic activities and services consist of: personal counselling, personal assistance, individual education, lending and supervision of the use of technological compensation tools, sign language interpreting, speech-to-text reporting etc. Teiresias has its own library of tactile and electronic documents for visually impaired students and own print house to create tactile documents and graphics (maps, guides, orientation systems).

Besides these activities, the centre works on development of new tools and methodologies. Among them are virtual guides of university buildings and their standardisation, localization and local standardisation of math softwares for visually impaired, library portal for visually impaired, hybrid book combining text with voice and sign language layers and Polygraf - in-house developed software to transmit speech-to-text reporting. Teiresias also created new Czech Sign Language online dictionary with the emphasis to linguistic approach to the sign language and to creation of specialized sign vocabulary for disciplines like IT, biology or special needs pedagogy.

Teiresias centre has also strong branch offering special sport classes to students with special needs such as blind football.