School laboratories let students playfully experience the fundamentals of, for example, robotics, computer science, and technology-related topics. By working with LEGO Mindstorms, secondary school students get a chance to learn on a cognitive, emotional, and haptic level and gain experiences with the aid of even more advanced robotics. However, due to an impairment or lack of sight, it is hardly possible for some students to fully participate in a programming process or in building a robot. To overcome this unintentional discrimination, the interdisciplinary student laboratory “RoboScope” at RWTH Aachen University has teamed up with a group of experts to develop a barrier-free robotic course. Since then, the course has been tested and implemented based on concurrent evaluations and frequently held at RWTH and several other German schools. The presented work covers an overview of different kinds of visual impairment and lab settings and the development cycle of the courses at RWTH from design to testing, implementation, and further development regarding the evaluations. Evaluations show that students who are visually impaired or blind appreciate the opportunity to participate in the field of robotics. An insight into the evaluation concept that differs from “regular” courses in the “Roboscope,” as well as the results are used for further development.
Part of the book: Causes and Coping with Visual Impairment and Blindness