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  1. 1. Library Accessibility: the U.A.D Experience Christopher Milne
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Library design features to help students and staff with disabilities </li></ul><ul><li>Highlight how Library Services have been adapted to help disabled users access our services as easily as possible </li></ul><ul><li>Outline how Library staff are made aware of service developments, and how information is communicated to staff on disability awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Outline the planning process for developing these services </li></ul>
  3. 3. Background Statistics: HESA 2001 <ul><li>30,970 students with a disability in Higher Education </li></ul><ul><ul><li>4% of the student population </li></ul></ul><ul><li>NB: These figures do not represent other disabled users who although are not students at a HEI may be entitled to access a Library and its services </li></ul>
  4. 4. Disabled Students HESA Statistics: Selective Breakdown <ul><ul><li>1,020 Registered blind / visual impairment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2,060 Registered deaf / hearing impairment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1,550 Wheel chair users / mobility difficulties </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1,290 Mental health difficulties </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>10,430 Registered with Dyslexia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency, 2002 </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Library Design <ul><li>Specific features introduced to the building to aid disabled users </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Semi automatic entrance, on ground floor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Push pads to open door, placed at wheel chair height </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lift provides access to all floors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Braille buttons </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Voice assistance informing users when doors open / close, direction lift is about to travel and floor information </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Access to lift restricted to maximise its availability to disabled users and library staff </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Speed of lift set to lowest setting to discourage use </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Library Design <ul><li>Specific features introduced to the building to aid disabled users </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Disabled toilets on each floor, within the public areas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Automatic lights, door activated </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>These are equipped with pull cord alarms </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Linked to audible alarm, and emergency light </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Induction loops </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Issue desk </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Information Services Desk (level 2) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Main subject / IT enquiry point </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Library Design <ul><li>Design Brief </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open, user friendly, accessible building </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Translates well </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An open spacious design complementary to the needs of some disabled students & staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. few doors, wheel chair friendly </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commonality in the layout / positioning of services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. toilets in the same place on each floor </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Library Design <ul><li>What other facilities could we introduce to provide more assistance? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Disabled parking facility? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Issue of location </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No Braille signage in the Library, apart from the lift </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most signs produced on white backgrounds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Consensus that cream / buff coloured background more useful </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Does the Library Building Meet the Needs of Disabled Users? <ul><li>SHEFC Disability Needs Analysis (Estates) December 2000 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Library Building received a disability audit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Positive feedback </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>SHEFC made a small number of recommendations (9 in total) including: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Disabled parking, handrails to be coated with non slip agent, improvements in signage </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Library Services <ul><li>Adaptation of Library services to support disabled users, going to look at the following areas: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Access to Library stock </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Renewal policies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Printing and photocopying </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inter Library Loans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PC access </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Specialist equipment </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Specialist Expertise / Advice <ul><li>Information Services staff heavily reliant on the expertise and support of colleagues within student services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>James Nicholson, Head of Student Services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>John Petrie, Student Advisor, Student Services </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Specialist Expertise / Advice <ul><li>Essential to have access to specialist expertise, advice and support </li></ul><ul><ul><li>At U.A.D we rely on this knowledge & skills set to: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Help plan and develop Library and IT services that are sensitive and responsive to the needs of students and staff with disabilities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Receive briefings on important developments </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Communication: Student Services / Information Services <ul><li>Good communication and co-operation between Student and Information Services </li></ul><ul><li>Details of disabled students passed to Information Services staff </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One principle point of contact </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Triggers a range of “house keeping” tasks </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. House Keeping Tasks: Information Services <ul><li>Library Records altered for </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students with any visual impairment or who experience any reading difficulties </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Flags to Library staff that students entitled to extended loan periods for short loan materials </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Students do not have to ask for this facility </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Epixtech asked to make a small change to Dynix </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Library Record Alterations
  16. 16. House Keeping Tasks: Information Services <ul><li>Where applicable print credit pricing system altered for students with visual impairments / reading difficulties </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Helpful to students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Seamless process, they do not have to ask for their entitlement </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Programmed 50% reduction in print credit purchases </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Access to Library Stock <ul><li>Students / staff notify the issue desk before 12:00 of items they require </li></ul><ul><li>Materials available for collection after 17:00 </li></ul><ul><li>Weekend service on demand </li></ul><ul><li>Students required to check Library catalogue </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Available from any PC in the world with an Internet connection </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Access to Library Stock <ul><li>Short loan issue periods extended for disabled students & members of staff </li></ul><ul><ul><li>6 hours compared with 3 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No difference in overnight short loans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All students can book short loan items via the catalogue, subject to availability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disabled students & staff do not have access to priority bookings for any Library materials </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Renewal Policies <ul><li>Library catalogue “Webpac” has the facility for off-campus renewals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Disabled students & staff entitled to remotely renew item(s) up to four times </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E-mail and phone renewals service also available </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other students and staff can only remotely renew an item once, before presenting the item to staff at the issue desk </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Printing and Photocopying <ul><li>Disabled students encouraged by Student Services to apply for “Disability Grant” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Part of the grant allocation includes an allowance for photocopying costs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Therefore we cannot offer a reduction in photocopying costs for disabled students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disabled students do receive printing credits at reduced cost </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Automatically set up in the print credit software </li></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Printing and Photocopying <ul><li>Laser printer accessibility </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Print station / Printer in level 2, has been placed on furniture at wheel chair height </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assistance on request for colour printing </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Printing and Photocopying <ul><li>Photocopying </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Difficult to find a photocopier that is designed to meet the needs of people with mobility difficulties </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assistance with photocopying in line with access to library stock </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Advanced notice is required i.e. before 12:00 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Photocopies available for collection at 17:00 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Students must clearly state what they require, and supply Library staff with a photocopy card </li></ul></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Inter Library Loans <ul><li>Accessing Inter Library Loans </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepaid voucher system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Posted to the Library, accompanied with ILL form (including copyright declaration) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>50 pence charge per item, applies to all students </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Future developments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Providing disabled students with access to the electronic Inter Library Loan request service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. PC Access <ul><li>Disabled students have priority access to PCs in the Library, level 1 </li></ul><ul><li>Future development </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Roll-out screen savers onto these PCs reminding other students that they should be prepared to find another PC if requested to do so </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. PC Access <ul><li>Wordsmith (Read & Write) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Software package designed to help people using Microsoft Word, with reading and writing difficulties </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Speech facility (speak as you type) / Also works with IE </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Text reader (enlarged text displays, can work with other documents and Web pages) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Homonyms facility (their / there) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Package to be installed on all core lab PCs throughout the U.A.D campus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Target date September 2002 </li></ul></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Additional Services <ul><li>Aladdin text reader available on level 2 of the Library </li></ul><ul><li>Coloured overlays available for loan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blue, green, yellow, pink </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Member of staff working towards British Sign Language signer </li></ul>
  27. 27. Promotion of Facilities <ul><li>Important that students are made aware of the services and facilities to which they are entitled </li></ul><ul><li>Students have one-to-one meeting with John Petrie </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Briefed on the range of services / support available to them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Includes Library and C&IT services </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Liaison with Information Services staff before this process starts each session </li></ul></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Promotion of Facilities <ul><li>Fact sheet on Library facilities produced and reviewed each year </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In the process of being published on the Internet </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Induction Pack </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides an overview of Library & IT services to all new students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Large print version available </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Colleagues sought advice from the RNIB on typography </li></ul></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Promotion of Facilities <ul><li>Named contacts within Information Services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sheila Whyte & Jackie Morton </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contact details given to all disabled students at U.A.D </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Students encouraged to talk with Sheila / Jackie about any aspects of the Library and its services </li></ul>
  30. 30. Student & Staff Feedback <ul><li>Students encouraged to give feedback on all of our services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Informal feedback from students and staff very useful </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information Services also receives informal feedback on the provision of its services to disabled users via Student Services </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Student & Staff Feedback <ul><li>Limited formal feedback mechanisms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Useful to develop these further </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discussions on-going on the best data collection method e.g. questionnaires may not be very helpful for students with any visual impairment, or who experience any difficulty in reading </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Recorded interview / questionnaire mix? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Internal Communications <ul><li>Information from </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Student services, staff development activities, external courses, publications… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sheila Whyte (Senior Information Officer) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Briefs staff responsible for front line library services: Information Officers, Library Assistants, Evening & weekend staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information Manager Library Facilities Management Team, also briefed </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. Internal Communications <ul><li>Room for improvement? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Academic Librarians do not always receive timely briefings in the disability arena </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IT Help desk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Copyshop </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Useful to close this loop </li></ul></ul></ul>
  34. 34. The Planning Process <ul><li>Largely based upon input from </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advice from Student Services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Especially legislative requirements </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Informal feedback from students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Working with students / staff </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>External courses / staff development activities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Look to improve existing services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New service developments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Where identified, built into the appropriate team plan </li></ul></ul></ul>
  35. 35. Next Steps <ul><li>Adaptation of electronic services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Much work done on “traditional” Library services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collection development policy shift to electronic resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Must make these services accessible </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>New Library system / catalogue </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E-mail request / delivery service for full text journals? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Revise the Virtual Library </li></ul></ul></ul>
  36. 36. Next Steps <ul><li>Electronic services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Accessibility of materials published on the U.A.D Internet and Intranet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>David Hume, E-learning Support Officer </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Service development / planning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Looking to be more proactive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“Anticipatory response towards disabled students at large” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  37. 37. Questions