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Assistive technology & accessible school libraries


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  • 1. Assistive Technology & Accessible School Libraries: A Great ComboLSSL 5396 Computer Science Applications to Librarianship
  • 2. What Is the Law Concerning Assistive Technology? Assistive Technology in the School Library
  • 3. Legislation You Should Know Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990  Reasonable accommodation is to be made to individuals with a disability including:  Public facility access expanded and broadened Assistive Technology Act of 1998  Provides state funding for school educational programs for access to students with special needs in schools and the workplace. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)  Formerly PL 94-142  Provides for a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment appropriate to an individual’s needs  Provides for universal design of physical and technological components of learning
  • 4. Computer Accessibility in the Library Wheelchair access:  Aisle space between shelves and computers desks  Wheelchair height computer terminals  Materials stored on shelves that students are able to reach without asking for assistance from library staff or others
  • 5. What kinds of AssistiveTechnology Might I Want to Use? Assistive Technology in the School Library
  • 6. Computer Software as Assistive Tech Coupled with audio or synthesizers supports:  visually impaired learners  ELLs  RTI  fluency and comprehension  auditory learners Kurzweil Educational Systems provides a text reader that works with MS Windows and many library systems. (Follow link above for more information.) RTI = Response to Intervention; ELL = English Language Learners
  • 7. Computer Hardware as Assistive Tech  Keyboards  Large print  Touch-pad  One-handed  Trackballs instead of mouse  Magnifiers  Braille display  Wireless audio connections
  • 8. Signage as Assistive Technology  Strategically marked and placed for:  Entrances & Exits  Circulation desk  Restrooms  Computers  Print materials and sections  Stairs or elevators
  • 9. What Does My Professional Association Say About Assistive Technology? Assistive Technology in the School Library
  • 10. ALA Recommendations for Assistive Tech Meeting a diverse set of needs is important Color computer monitors Sound cards Text alternatives to speech & more (follow link above and below) Texas Center for Disability Studies
  • 11. What About When Working with Individual Students? Assistive Technology in the School Library
  • 12. Individual Education Plan (IEP) Process Working with the IEP Team:  Act as a consultant with regard to basic strategies for individual problems  Provide resource information by compiling a list of sources on a particular physical or emotional limitation  Collaborate with teacher(s) on learning objectives and goals for special needs student  Share expertise of knowledge on technologies available and acquisition of learning and information skills of special needs students
  • 13. How Do I Keep Up with What IsCurrent in Assistive Technology? Assistive Technology in the School Library
  • 14. Keeping Current Read professional publications that report on topics related to assistive technology. Collaborate with the Special Education department on your campus and in your district. Participate in individual student IEPs when you may offer valuable input.  Ideally, you would attend each one where the library may provide services. However, it is understood that your input may come prior to the meeting due to scheduling responsibilities.  Stay informed.
  • 15. Now I Know How to Use AssistiveTechnology in the School Library. What’s next?
  • 16. Make the School Library Accessible!  Barriers exist to print for those who have visual and print disabilities.  The 1996 Chafee Amendment allows the translation of non- dramatic printed works into an accessible format.  This includes people with dyslexia or who are learning disabled in reading.
  • 17. Refer to the IEP or 504 Learning Plan If a student has a qualifying disability, they are able to have access to  Braille  Digital text  Audio versions of books The school library may already have invested in these materials through databases or other purchases.
  • 18. Library Services for Blind and PhysicallyDisabled  For information about the Talking Book Program for Texas go to:  Talking Books in the Classroom: /tbp/schoolguide.html  National Library Service (Library of Congress):
  • 19. What If the Library Doesn’t Have Them? Bookshare ( /) has books and periodicals for readers with disabilities and is free for students who qualify. Check for funding that might be available through the Dept. of Education under the Chafee Amendment.
  • 20. ReferencesBrazier, H. (2007). The role and activities of the IFLA libraries for the blind section. Library Trends, 55(4), 864-878.Cylke, F., Moodie, M. M., & Fistick, R. E. (2007). Serving the blind and physically handicapped in the United States of America. Library Trends, 55(4), 796-808.Davies, J. E. (2007). An overview of international research into the library and information needs of visually impaired people. Library Trends, 55(4), 785-795.GREEN, R. A. (2009). Empowering library patrons with learning disabilities. Journal of Access Services, 6(1/2), 59-71. doi:10.1080/15367960802247817Harris, C. (2011). Are you accessible?. School Library Journal, 57(2), 13.Hopkins, J. (2004). School library accessibility: The role of assistive technology. Teacher Librarian, 31(3), 15-18.Hopkins, J. (2006). Assistive technology: 10 things to know. Library Media Connection, 25(1), 12-14.Sunrich, M., & Green, R. (2006). Assistive technologies for library patrons with visual disabilities. Journal of Access Services, 4(1/2), 29.