Assistive Technology & Accessible School Libraries: A Great ComboLSSL 5396 Computer Science Applications to Librarianship
What Is the Law Concerning Assistive Technology? Assistive Technology in the School Library
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
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
What kinds of AssistiveTechnology Might I Want to Use? Assistive Technology in the School Library
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
Computer Hardware as Assistive Tech Keyboards Large print Touch-pad One-handed Trackballs instead of mouse Magnifiers Braille display Wireless audio connections
Signage as Assistive Technology Strategically marked and placed for: Entrances & Exits Circulation desk Restrooms Computers Print materials and sections Stairs or elevators
What Does My Professional Association Say About Assistive Technology? Assistive Technology in the School Library
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
What About When Working with Individual Students? Assistive Technology in the School Library
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
How Do I Keep Up with What IsCurrent in Assistive Technology? Assistive Technology in the School Library
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.
Now I Know How to Use AssistiveTechnology in the School Library. What’s next?
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.
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.
Library Services for Blind and PhysicallyDisabled For information about the Talking Book Program for Texas go to: http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/tbp/ Talking Books in the Classroom: http://www.tsl.state.tx.us /tbp/schoolguide.html National Library Service (Library of Congress): http://www.loc.gov/nls/
What If the Library Doesn’t Have Them? Bookshare (http://www.bookshare.org /) 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.
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.