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Assistive Technology in Public Libraries

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1 Assistive Technology in Public Libraries
Introduction What do Ray Charles, Hans Christian Anderson, Leonardo da Vinci, Stephen Hawking, Marlee Matlin, Itzhak Perlman, and Franklin Roosevelt have in common? They are all successful personalities who live or lived with disability. On a personal note, my own interest in Assistive Technology is having a father who uses a wheelchair and is low-vision. People with disabilities can live “normal” fufilling lives. Technology can help. Meg Canada, Librarian eLibrary, Applications Development, & Training Hennepin County Library

2 Levels of Ability Ability may be considered to be on a continuum. Strive to use language that is respectful and appropriate. For example, the deaf community uses the term “hard of hearing” rather than “hearing impaired.” Terminology and its role...

3 The Facts There are an estimated 54 million people with disabilities living in the U.S. – U.S. Census Bureau There are nearly 7 million school-aged children with disabilities in the U.S. – Congressional Research Service Facts compiled for Freedom Machines, a POV show for PBS

4 The Facts (cont.) Nearly 70 percent of working-age adults with disabilities are unemployed. – U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division and Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division Fewer than 25 percent of people with disabilities who could be helped by assistive technology are using it. – Alliance for Technology Access

5 What is Assistive Technology?
Assistive Technology is a device that allows an individual with a disability to do what they could not do without the device. Assistive Technology ranges from highly complex technology to simple adjustments that can make life more dignified, remove barriers and change lives. – From the Assistive Technology of Minnesota (ATMn) Website Examples of AT in the library: A patron with Macular Degeneration uses a print magnifier to read the newspaper. A child who is hard of hearing uses a loop to listen to a storytime presentation. A patron with a learning disability uses a scanner to scan and listen to their mail. A deaf patron comes to the library to check their .

6 Why Assistive Technology?
AT can mean economic and intellectual freedom for many people. “Electronic Curb-Cuts” benefit everyone. Universal Design is smart design. It’s our ethical responsibility to provide access to information. Electronic Curb-cuts benefit everyone. What do typewriters, telephones, , and scanners have in common? They were all designed as AT. Curb cuts are now used by mothers with strollers, bicycles, skateboards... Described as an “Electronic Curb Cut.” Typewriter patents date back to 1713, and the first typewriter proven to have worked was built by Pellegrino Turri in 1808 for his blind friend Countess Carolina Fantoni da Fivizzono. Turri also invented carbon paper. In 1876 Alexander Graham Bell received his telephone patent. The telephone was one of the many devices Bell developed in support of his work with the deaf. Bell’s parents were both deaf. In 1922, When he turned 70, Bell stated that "recognition for my work with the deaf has always been more pleasing than the recognition of my work with the telephone." functionality was added to the Internet as the result of a hard of hearing computer engineer, Vinton Cerf, who married a deaf woman. He saw the potential of text messaging for the deaf. In 1975, the flatbed scanner and Optical Character Recognition was developed by Ray Kurzweil for the blind. Kurzweil developed the first music keyboard, with accoustic sound,. The inspiration for having done this came, in part from a conversation he had with Stevie Wonder, who had been a user of the Kurzweil Reading Machine for the blind! In 1988, Retail Point-Of-Sale devices began to use picture-based keyboards (mostly fast food restaurants). This technology was originally developed in the mid-60ís to enable people who were unable to speak to use a keyboard, computer and speech synthesizer to speak. Next time your cell phone vibrates, you enjoy closed-captioned television at the gym or you scan rather than re-type a letter remember that AT is universal technology. ( Universal Design is smart design. Universal design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. –Ron Mace ( The intent of universal design is to simplify life for everyone by making products, communications, and the built environment more usable by as many people as possible at little or no extra cost. Universal design benefits people of all ages and abilities. UD for Learning: The idea that students must procure or "be prescribed" special individual tools whenever they cannot use standard curriculum undermines learning for everyone. Exclusively print-based tools and methods, uncaptioned videos and software, undescribed images and posters, create barriers for some learners and limit options for everyone. It’s the law.

7 AT @ your library Visit and talk to community groups
Choose programs and devices that are widely used Consider low tech vs. high tech devices and software programs Consider space and resources These are the topics we will cover.

8 Closed-Circuit Televisions (Print Magnifiers)
Use a special television camera and a monitor 4-50 times magnification Closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs) magnify the printed page with a special television camera and display the image enlarged on a monitor. CCTVs can be used to read print materials and to write notes, letters, and other handwritten documents with the aid of magnification. Potential users include those who require large text, and those who need high contrast text or specific text and background color combinations. Uses: reading, writing, paying bills, looking at pictures and prescription bottles Clarity Discovery Inline: $2, (color) $2, (black and white) Clarity Flex: the separate camera/monitor design allows you to upgrade to a larger screen size if necessary. $

9 Alternate Keyboards Programmable keyboards On-screen keyboards
Large Print/Large Keys Alternate keyboards offer a variety of ways to provide input to a computer through various options in size, layout, and complexity. Shown on left: IntelliKeys Unlike the keyboard normally attached to the computer, the IntelliKeys look and functionality is changeable by sliding in different overlays. The IntelliKeys keyboard comes with six standard overlays plus a setup overlay, that are ready to use with any word processing program or software that has keyboard input. You can also use IntelliKeys with a growing number of commercial software programs made by IntelliTools and other publishers. Each of these programs come with their own custom printed overlays that work automatically when you load the software. Shown on right: BigKeys Keyboard 1” square keys, 4 times larger than a standard key Bottom: Large Print Keyboard $130.00

10 Alternate Mice Trackball Head Controlled (Camera Mice)
Joystick (aka Jouse) Touch Pads Touch Screens Tablets Foot Pedals Shown: BIGtrack 3 inch trackball which makes it the largest trackball available. $79-99 Head controlled can be up to $995.00 Touch Pad-ultra-thin Cruise Cat touchpad provides instant access to all three commands right on the pad's surface. $75

11 Adjustable Tables and Desks
There is no such thing as a standard wheelchair Not all users are at a “seated height” Hand crank and powered lift Adjustable iCart II Anthro Corporation, Technology Furniture®, the manufacturer and e-tailer known for its unique furniture for technology, announces the introduction of its new Adjustable iCart II. The spherical shape of the iCart II provides a modern, compact space for the new iMac®, and its unique contemporary look compliments any office and hardware. The compact round configuration is a favorite for those with limited space. An additional back shelf creates the perfect space for the iPod, PDA or Camera. Add lower shelves at any height along the trunk to hold small printers, iSub, battery back-up and other equipment. $695.00 AD-AS Accella 4836L This unique reading table by AD-AS Furniture Solutions adapts for use as a youth reading table, an adult reading table and a wheelchair accessible library table that exceeds ADA requirements. An easy-to-turn hand crank raises and lowers the table height between inches, providing knee clearance space and the appropriate height for wheelchair users. The legs are constructed of red oak and the work surface is a durable high-pressure laminate measuring 48 w x 36 d x 1-1/8 inches. Two-Year Warranty. $ AD-AS Infinity 6030 Attractive and modern, this powered, height-adjustable table by AD-AS Furniture Solutions is ideal as a wheelchair accessible activity table or computer workstation. Available options amplify its function as an ADA compliant computer workstation for assistive technology and school computer labs. Adjusts effortlessly using push buttons that power an extremely quite motor. Motor is UL listed. Metal base with almond powder-coated feet. $

12 Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Software and Scanners
Also called Text to Speech Programs Software: Kurzweil, OpenBook Device: VERA Optical Character Recognition and Scanners Optical character recognition (OCR) software works with a scanner to convert images from a printed page into a standard computer file. A scanner is a device that converts an image from a printed page to a computer file. With optical character recognition software, the resulting computer file can be edited. Pictures and photographs do not require OCR software to be manipulated. People use these tools to transfer a printed worksheet to the computer so it can be accessed by assistive devices such as speech synthesizers text enlargers, or Braille embossers. They are also useful for changing text size, style, or layout. VERA (Very Easy Reading Appliance) $

13 Refreshable Braille Displays
Tactile output of information from the computer screen Small, rounded plastic or metal pins form Braille characters Refreshable Braille Display Refreshable Braille displays provide tactile output of information presented on the computer screen. Unlike conventional Braille, which is permanently embossed onto paper, refreshable Braille displays are mechanical in nature and lift small, rounded plastic or metal pins as needed to form Braille characters. They contain 20, 40, or 80 Braille cells. After the line is read, the user can "refresh" the display to read the next line. They can display commands, prompts, and electronic text in Braille, allow the user to get precise information about text attributes, screen formatting, and spelling on the computer display, and provide computer access to persons who are visually impaired, where speech output might not be practical or desired.

14 Screen Magnifiers vs. Readers
MAGic ZoomText Supernova Readers JAWS Window-Eyes HAL A screen reader is a software program that works in conjunction with a speech synthesizer to provide verbalization of everything on the screen including control buttons, menus, text, and punctuation. They can provide access to print materials and manuals after they have been scanned into a computer, provide auditory prompts, menus, and commands, provide confirmation of keystrokes without looking at the screen, and make a computer accessible to someone with limited or no vision.

15 TTY/TDD’s Still widely used by deaf and hard of hearing community
Can be modem-based Use their own set of language conventions Relay Services: telephone and video TTY Text Telephone and TTY Modems A Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TTY or TDD) is a device with a keyboard that sends and receives typed messages over a telephone line. A TTY modem is a Weitbrecht/Baudot-compatible modem for a personal computer. A standard modem uses ASCII code to communicate over phone lines, while TTYs use Baudot code at a fixed baud rate of 45. A standard modem generally cannot communicate with a TTY, although some TTYs allow the user to select either Baudot or ASCII code at up to 300 baud. They are used to call other TTY users, call a relay system which will read your message to a standard phone user, and connect with automated services such as a bank. ga stands for "go ahead." It is a turn taking signal. The person on the other end of the line will not reply until you tell them your message is complete by using "ga." q or qq q or qq represents the asking of a question. To receive an answer, you must be sure to signal the end of your message with a "ga". Example: what time is the meeting q ga *Note: for the most complete and accurate information, only ask one question at a time.

16 Assistive Listening Devices
Two types: personal use (PocketTalkers) group use (conference room systems) Primary purpose: not to make a louder signal Goal: make desired sound stand out from the background noise Assistive listening devices can usually amplify a signal, but their primary purpose isn't to make a signal louder. Rather, they place a pickup (microphone) close to the sound source, so that it becomes louder compared to the other sounds in the environment. Assistive listening devices improve your ability to hear because they make the desired sound stand out from the background noise.

17 Voice Recognition Dragon Naturally Speaking Via Voice
Different types of voice recognition systems, also called speech recognition, are available. Voice recognition allows the user to speak to the computer instead of using a keyboard or mouse to input data or control computer functions. Voice recognition systems can be used to create text documents such as letters or , to browse the Internet, and to navigate among applications and menus by voice. Voice recognition is commonly used to input text or data by voice, to navigate among files, applications, and menus, to execute standard commands by voice, and to control all functions of a computer hands-free. Software prices range. Voice recorders $300 and up.

18 Take Stock: What is already in your collection?
Closed-captioned videos and DVD's Books on tape/cd’s Large print books Described videos eBooks Devices Click on graphic for a sample of a described video. Just as closed captions provide display text corresponding to the audio in a video, described video enables someone to hear what is being portrayed visually.

19 Finding Funding STAR Directory Assistive Technology of Minnesota
Lion’s Club Friends of the Library

20 Preparing Staff for AT All staff should have basic training
Customer service training should compliment AT training Use manuals that come with software/ device to train staff Have staff practice using AT

21 Marketing Access Press Vision Loss Resources

22 Hennepin County Library
Questions? Meg Canada, Librarian Hennepin County Library

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