Maple Makes High School Education of a Visually Challenged Student Possible - Maplesoft

User Case Study:
Maple Makes High School Education of a Visually Challenged Student Possible

Pervin Yavuz, a high school student in Ludwigsburg, Germany, has been blind since birth. Feeling disconnected at her school for the blind, Yavuz transitioned to a regular high school and sought tools to help her overcome her disability and allow her to learn and study the same concepts and materials as other students.

Yavuz began using Maple to make learning easier in her math courses. Maple has allowed her to more easily learn key concepts and materials, and reinforce what she learns in class.

Yavuz was able to succeed in a regular school environment, with Maple assisting her in overcoming her limitations and allowing her to learn by “doing”. Maple improved her understanding of mathematics and provided her with the advanced mathematics skills necessary to realize her goal of attending university.

Pervin Yavuz has been blind since birth and wears eye prosthesis as a result of undeveloped eyeballs. Despite her blindness, she has been fortunate enough to attend a public school in Ludwigsburg, Germany. She is able to study like children with sight using a computer that is equipped with voice output as well as a Braille line which transforms content from the screen into Braille. For math and science, Maplesoft’s math education software, Maple, is her constant companion, as the classic Maple worksheet is very compatible with the voice output on her computer. Not being able to use a hand calculator, Maple provides her an ideal environment for all her calculations with functions, equations and expressions. She also writes down her class notes in Maple as she listens to the teacher, which she plays back later at home when she is practicing or doing homework. She is able to “read” by listening to her laptop, which converts the content simultaneously into voice output and the Braille-line.

“At the blind school I attended, I realized that the world I lived in there had nothing to do with the real, seeing world, and I felt very disconnected,” said Pervin. “So my family and I decided that I should attend a 'regular' school. There I learned to use the Braille system and work with the computer, two things people with visual challenges should consider if they want to attend a regular school. I was also introduced to the world of Maple, which lets me do so much more in my math courses.”

Despite her skills and ability to understand and make sense of her class lessons, some things must be modified for accessibility. For example, graphics must be tactile so she can understand them by touching. She also requires additional support to simplify advanced commands in Maple.

Helmut Rumpf-Hufnagel is Pervin’s math teacher. He teaches her and prepares her for her examinations. He says Maple makes it easy for her to learn concepts like differentiation and integration, and teaches her to solve equations and manipulate functions. Helmut also uses Maple during his coaching sessions with Pervin to reiterate the concepts learned in class.

“Maple has helped Pervin tremendously, as it is easy to learn in Maple,” says Helmut. “For Pervin, everything she learns, she has to learn by doing, and Maple helps her 'do' math. Maple is a big part of why she is successful in school, and why she can now plan to go to university. Having this education prepares her for a world that is not often friendly or helpful to people who are visually challenged. I’m very appreciative of Maple for helping her achieve advanced skills in mathematics, and for what that opens up for her in the future.”

Helmut plans to continue to help Pervin in university, where her goal is to study Psychology. He anticipates Maple will be extremely useful, especially in her statistics courses.

With her eagerness to learn and her perseverance, Pervin has made a mark for herself, in spite of her limitations. “In my opinion, dealing with challenges and overcoming barriers let me see things from many different perspectives,” she says. “I have learned that being successful means finding the best for yourself, not only for you, but also for the society in which you live.”

Pervin’s story is inspirational, and Maplesoft thanks her for letting Maple play a part in it.

Contact Maplesoft to learn how Maple can be used in your classroom.