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Assistive Technology in Public Libraries Meg Canada, Librarian eLibrary, Applications Development, & Training Hennepin County Library Slide 2 Levels of Ability Ability may be considered to be on a continuum. Strive to use language that is respectful and appropriate. For example, the deaf community uses the term hard of hearing rather than hearing impaired. Slide 3 The Facts There are an estimated 54 million people with disabilities living in the U.S. U.S. Census Bureau There are nearly 7 million school-aged children with disabilities in the U.S. Congressional Research Service Slide 4 The Facts (cont.) Nearly 70 percent of working-age adults with disabilities are unemployed. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division and Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division Fewer than 25 percent of people with disabilities who could be helped by assistive technology are using it. Alliance for Technology Access Slide 5 What is Assistive Technology? Assistive Technology is a device that allows an individual with a disability to do what they could not do without the device. Assistive Technology ranges from highly complex technology to simple adjustments that can make life more dignified, remove barriers and change lives. From the Assistive Technology of Minnesota (ATMn) Website Slide 6 Why Assistive Technology? AT can mean economic and intellectual freedom for many people. Electronic Curb-Cuts benefit everyone. Universal Design is smart design. Its our ethical responsibility to provide access to information. Slide 7 AT @ your library Visit and talk to community groups Choose programs and devices that are widely used Consider low tech vs. high tech devices and software programs Consider space and resources Slide 8 Closed-Circuit Televisions (Print Magnifiers) Use a special television camera and a monitor 4-50 times magnification Slide 9 Alternate Keyboards Programmable keyboards On-screen keyboards Large Print/Large Keys Slide 10 Alternate Mice Trackball Head Controlled (Camera Mice) Joystick (aka Jouse) Touch Pads Touch Screens Tablets Foot Pedals Slide 11 Adjustable Tables and Desks There is no such thing as a standard wheelchair Not all users are at a seated height Hand crank and powered lift Slide 12 Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Software and Scanners Also called Text to Speech Programs Software: Kurzweil, OpenBook Device: VERA Slide 13 Refreshable Braille Displays Tactile output of information from the computer screen Small, rounded plastic or metal pins form Braille characters Slide 14 Screen Magnifiers vs. Readers Magnifiers MAGic ZoomText Supernova Readers JAWS Window-Eyes HAL Slide 15 TTY/TDDs Still widely used by deaf and hard of hearing community Can be modem-based Use their own set of language conventions Relay Services: telephone and video Slide 16 Assistive Listening Devices Two types: personal use (PocketTalkers) group use (conference room systems) Primary purpose: not to make a louder signal Goal: make desired sound stand out from the background noise Slide 17 Voice Recognition Dragon Naturally Speaking Via Voice Slide 18 Take Stock: What is already in your collection? Closed-captioned videos and DVD's Books on tape/cds Large print books Described videos eBooks Devices Slide 19 Finding Funding STAR Directory Assistive Technology of Minnesota Lions Club Friends of the Library Slide 20 Preparing Staff for AT All staff should have basic training Customer service training should compliment AT training Use manuals that come with software/ device to train staff Have staff practice using AT Slide 21 Marketing E-Mail Community Contacts Print Materials Audio Messages Slide 22 Questions? Meg Canada, Librarian Hennepin County Library 952.847.8587