DCU researchers develop maths platform for blind students

EuroMath aims to give enhanced support to teachers and pupils with visual impairments

Dublin-based researchers have helped create a unique platform that aims to improve how maths is taught to students who are blind or visually impaired.

The prototype technology, which is part of a wider European project called EuroMath, enables teachers to take standard printed material and convert it to Braille, and vice versa. The solution can be used in the classroom and remotely.

Dublin City University is part of the European project, which is being co-ordinated by Poland's NASK-PIB, with Koninklijke Visio in the Netherlands also taking part.

“This is hugely important for children and the Irish education system. As it currently stands, there isn’t enough support for children with visual impairments in this country and that is reflected in the significantly low number of those with visual impairments choosing honours maths as a subject,” said Dr Dónal Fitzpatrick, assistant professor in DCU’s School of Computing,


“If you think about how you might approach explaining to a young student with a visual impairment what a cylinder is or how to use fractions, this can be a challenge if you don’t know how. This innovative platform and practical tools that we have developed have proven methodologies and best practice examples on how best to explain and teach children of all ages so that both teachers and students will benefit.”

Funded under the Erasmus+ programme, EuroMath aims to provide enhanced support to teachers and students with visual impairments.

As part of the project, an online resource for teachers with examples has also been developed, the first of its kind available in Ireland. It gives teachers access to hundreds of proven methodologies and explanations of how best to teach children with visual impairments.