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Studying without barriers

At the School of Applied Linguistics, we make it possible for students with disabilities to have equal access to our courses of study and to participate in them independently.

The needs of students with movement disabilities or visual impairment are very individual. In each case, we discuss what measures will be necessary with the Programme Directors at the Institute of the School that is concerned, as well as with the student involved.

Upon request, students at the School of Applied Linguistics can receive support, for example, as listed below:

  • Visually impaired students can use special screens upon request.
  • Advanced students can accompany visually impaired students.
  • Hearing-impaired students can receive technical support in special lecture rooms.
  • Before the semester starts, the contact person at the School will discuss possible measures with the individual student.

Visual impairment

Via the e-mail address barrierefreie-texte.linguistik@zhaw.ch written documents, teaching materials and PowerPoint presentations can be sent to us and then converted into barrier-free texts by our converting service. Such documents have to be submitted at least 24 hours in advance to ensure that they are ready on time.

Longer texts, such as articles or chapters of books, should be submitted to Margaretha Glauser at the School for the Blind in Zollikofen. More time should be allowed for the conversion of such texts.

Hearing impairment

Sign-language interpreters can be used following clarification regarding invalidity insurance (IV). Any interpreting costs not covered by invalidity insurance (IV) can be discussed with Christiane Hohenstein, the Diversity coordinator at our School.

Some of our lecture rooms are equipped with induction loop systems.

Musculoskeletal disabilities

The auditorium (back row only) and lecture room O4.01 (first row in the middle) are wheelchair-accessible. All seminar and group rooms are wheelchair-accessible or very little is needed to make them so. Wheelchair-accessible toilets are located on the second and fourth floors. Take the lift by the cafeteria. When you come out of the lift, turn right and then take the second passage on the right.

Barrier-free rooms

SM building (Theaterstrasse 15c)

  • Classrooms: Rooms U1.07, O1.01, O4.01, O1.24/29 are equipped with an induction loop system.
  • Computer rooms: Language technology software for barrier-free communication is installed in the following rooms: O3.05, O3.08, O3.17 and on individual computers.
  • Toilets: Wheelchair-accessible toilets are located on the second and fourth floors. Take the lift by the cafeteria. When you come out of the lift, turn right and then take the second passage on the right.
  • Lifts: In the small lift on the right near reception (can only be used with a key) and in the main lift on the left as you go towards the cafeteria, the floors are also indicated in braille inside the lift.

SF building (Theaterstrasse 17)

  • Classrooms: Room O2.23 is wheelchair-accessible.
  • Toilets: No wheelchair-accessible toilets.
  • Lift: The floors are not yet indicated in braille.

A detailed list of barrier-free rooms at the School of Applied Linguistics will be appearing here soon. In the meantime, please contact Brian McGowan with any queries.

Contact persons at the School

Contact person at the ZHAW

Research in the area of barrier-free communication

Research projects on barrier-free communication are currently taking place in the following areas:

  • Respeaking und Audiodeskription
  • The ADEM audio description development model by Benecke (2014) as the basis for the production of an audio film
  • Traditional speech-to-text interpreting
  • In the Interculturality and Language Diversity research areas, work on intercultural and pragmatic aspects of Swiss-German Sign Language (DSGS) is being conducted in cooperation with Patricia Hermann-Shores, Head of Sign Language Interpreting at the University of Applied Sciences of Special Needs Education, and the Competence Centre for Sign Language at the SGB-FSS Swiss Federation for the Deaf. The aim here is to develop new medial teaching and learning materials for the independent and accompanied learning of DSGS as L2.