New ways in language learning for blind and visually impaired people

Language competence as a European competence is an important factor
for European development. One of the aims of the European Commission is
that all citizens of Europe can understand and speak at least three
languages. Therefore, language competence is not only regarded as a
central element of the understanding among European people, but also
as one of the central qualifications for job mobility and job promotion.
Language learning thus means:

  • According to the European Commission the acquisition of being European
  • (Job) training and mobility
  • Prerequisite for social integration
  • Communication and building up acquaintances via languages
  • Development of personality and strengthening of self-confidence
  • Access to culture and further education

Adequate language learning materials for blind and visually impaired people
are rare, though. It is therefore also difficult to find and to go to
adequate language courses, especially if there are no appropriate training
facilities locally available.
Computer-based, interactive self studying courses would therefore be a solution.
However, these courses are difficult to use for people with visual impairments.
This particularly concerns people who have gone blind in later life since
only a smaller portion of this group learns reading and writing in Braille.