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8 a pleased

  1. 1. PLEASED Public Libraries Enabling Accessible Services Encompassing Disability Katrina Knox Public Libraries Victoria Network
  2. 2. Background ICT Disability Working Group • Convened by Vicnet for the purpose of improving the provision of ICT facilities and services in Victorian public libraries to community members with a disability • Diverse representation:
  3. 3. Key Project Research project funded by the Winthrop Foundation to: • Investigate public library internet access and participation for people with a disability • Assess their needs/issues • Make recommendations to improve access and participation
  4. 4. Key Project The key element of the research was a survey: • Community members with a disability • Carers • Public library staff • ‘More Than Just Equipment’ report released August 2007 http://www.libraries.vic.gov.au/downloads/Publi c_Libraries_Unit/more_than_just_equipment_a ugust_2007.pdf
  5. 5. Key Issues/Themes Disability Sector • Internet access at the library - Problems with adaptive equipment - Problems with booking computers - Need for introductory training - Need for staff help
  6. 6. Key Issues/Themes • Access to the library via the internet - Remote access to catalogues and resources - Web accessibility issues in relation to vision impairment and literacy • Support from library staff - Need for training - Disability, Adaptive equipment and the Disability Discrimination Act 1992
  7. 7. Key Issues/Themes • Knowing what/who is available in the library - Raise community awareness of what the library offers - Raise library awareness of the community - Improve/develop networks • Getting to, getting in and being comfortable in the library - Not directly an ICT issue but most important
  8. 8. Key Issues/Themes Public Library Sector • Adaptive technology - Cost of equipment - Complexity of equipment - What to purchase, from where and who would it benefit • Training - Disability awareness and use of equipment
  9. 9. Recommendations • Improve physical accessibility • Act on the intent of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 • Provide support for library staff to deal with specialist adaptive/assistive equipment • Develop accessible websites and databases • Funding to increase the availability of internet and adaptive equipment and software
  10. 10. Public Library Response A workshop was held in April 2008 attended by 20 public library staff. Representatives established three priority projects: • Develop an online resource/directory for library staff • Develop guidelines to aid in the development of accessible library websites • Develop a best practice guide to designing accessible library buildings
  11. 11. Project Development • Three Working Groups were established to progress each of the projects • The Online Resource/Directory Working Group’s first priority was to source funding for the development of the resource - Department of Planning and Community Development Small Grants Program - Funding of $30,000 approved in June 2008
  12. 12. Project Development • Work Group held a number of workshops to fully develop the requirements and a specification • Vicnet appointed to develop an online resource • Use of ‘Joomla’ a free open source framework and content publishing system • Website www.pleased.net.au ‘Public libraries enabling accessible services encompassing disability’
  13. 13. Other Projects • Web accessibility guidelines: - Research established guidelines were available, but in need of consolidation - Vicnet agreed to take on this project • Best practice guide to designing accessible library buildings: - Deferred until completion of other projects
  14. 14. Final Website Features • Directory - Service providers - Assistive technology • Knowledge base • Forum • Articles • FAQS • Links • News • Web 2.0 features – RSS, word clouds
  15. 15. Website Launch • Launch of the website at the State Library of Victoria October 2009 • Website Accessibility Guidelines launched at the same event • Presentation to Public Library Victoria Network December 2009
  16. 16. Ongoing Development • To ensure the website continues to grow and develop each public library service were requested to appoint a ‘champion’ for the website • Vicnet training was conducted for the champions and training notes developed
  17. 17. Ongoing Development • The PLEASED Working Group has been expanded with an ongoing role to: - Promote the site - Ensure it continues to develop • The PLEASED banner is now the de-facto name for all projects disability related within the Victorian public library network
  18. 18. Lessons Learnt • Detailed and considered planning achieves good outcomes • Select the technical solution that best fits, not the latest trend • Volunteer projects need skills and knowledge as well as interest: - Availability of technical expertise on our Working Group was invaluable • Volunteer projects take a long time!
  19. 19. www.pleased.net.au QUESTIONS?