Beyond Assistive Technology


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Presentation by Kate Todd at Texas Library Association Conference, April 9 2014, San Antonio, Texas

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Beyond Assistive Technology

  1. 1. Kate Todd Texas Library Association April 2014
  2. 2. Agenda for program today  Identify patrons with disabilities.  How are you helping patrons with disabilities?  Group discussion of real world scenario.  Develop a plan for improving services.
  3. 3. Does this person have a disability?
  4. 4. Is there a disability in this picture?
  5. 5. Does this person have a disability?
  6. 6. Does this person have a disability?
  7. 7. Does this person have a disability?
  8. 8. List how your library serves people with disabilities? 1. Physical space 2. Collections 3. Communications 4. Staff Development 5. Programming 6. Partnership
  9. 9. Examples of physical space accommodations 1. Ramps 2. Elevators 3. Unobstructed Aisles 4. Shelf height 5. Accessible bathrooms 6. Signage
  10. 10. Resources for evaluating physical space IFLA checklist Institute for Human Centered Design
  11. 11. Department of Justice Standards
  12. 12. Examples of ways collections assist people with disabilities 1. Formats: large print, audio books, closed captioned films, Braille 2. Fiction, biography, films that portray people who have disabilities 3. Medical collections 4. Reading lists
  13. 13. Communication Etiquette  People with a disability often visit the library with a companion  Always speak directly to the patron, not the companion  Use a normal voice level  Do not finish their sentences  It is all right to say you did not understand  Ask questions that can be answered by Yes or No  Be patient and flexible
  14. 14. People First Language  Put the person first, then a disability if it is relevant to the occasion  Do not use the disability to define a person  Focus on what a person is able to do rather than inability  Do not use “normal” to refer to people without disabilities  Avoid negative descriptors like “suffers from” or “afflicted by”
  15. 15. Alternative Communication Some individuals who have a disability use alternative modes of communication to supplement or replaces oral speech, and the reading and writing based on oral language. American Sign Language (ASL) Braille Picture Communication Systems
  16. 16. Special Fonts ASL Fingerspelling Font layout/gallaudettruetypefont.htm Fonts for Dyslexia
  17. 17. Scenario for group discussion Loudoun mother files ADA complaint over library incident The Washington Post, May 10, 2013
  18. 18. Discussion Questions 1. What are the facts of this story? 2. How did the mother and daughter react? 3. How did other members of the public react? 4. How did the library staff react? 5. Have you had a situation similar to this at your library? Describe what happened. 6. If this had been your library, what might you have done? 7. Are there library policies that would support your plan of action? 8. Have you attended training about handling difficult situations like this?
  19. 19. Dealing with Meltdowns Meltdowns involve anger or aggression in response to a trigger event. Give the person space. Move other people to a safe distance. Remove the trigger event, if possible. Give short verbal, concrete directions. Add nonverbal prompts that are not threatening. Respond consistently. Meltdowns generally last less than ten minutes.
  20. 20. Examples of Programs  Sensory Story Time or Film Program  Book discussions (Next Chapter Book Club)  Apps for people with disabilities  Described and captioned film programs  Read to therapy dogs
  21. 21. Sensory Story Times
  22. 22. Book Discussions
  23. 23. Apps for people with Disabilities
  24. 24. Described and Captioned Films
  25. 25. Read to Therapy Dogs
  26. 26. Some valuable partnerships  Schools/Special education staff  Parents/other family members  Library Advisory Committee  Senior Citizen Centers  Job programs  Veterans Groups
  27. 27. Questions to ask before developing a plan 1. Are there people with Disabilities already using your library? 2. What agencies or schools for people with disabilities exist in your community? 3. Do you have an advisory committee that includes representation for people with disabilities? 4. What are the barriers that keep people with disabilities from using your library? 5. If you could do only one thing to improve services for people with disabilities, what would it be?
  28. 28. Kate Todd This presentation is available on Slide Share at