Keep It Simple: A Guide to Assistive Technologies

Keep It Simple: A Guide to Assistive Technologies

Keep It Simple: A Guide to Assistive Technologies

Keep It Simple: A Guide to Assistive Technologies


"Keep it Simple: A Guide to Assistive Technologies" provides a basic tutorial on common assistive computer applications and commonly available, inexpensive hardware and software to help librarians incorporate such aids into the library's current infrastructure.

Focusing on applications commonly available on Microsoft Office and other low-cost technologies, this book offers guidance for the practitioner that can help every library move toward universal access. Librarians will find advice on planning accessible services, selecting appropriate assistive technologies, marketing disability services and assistive technology, and training staff in disability services issues and the use of assistive technology. Individual chapters cover print, hearing, speech, and mobility disabilities, offering resources and tutorials for each of these disability categories.


Green (1999) conducted a national Delphi professional panel consisting of 12 librarians, assistive technology, and disability services experts to determine appropriate guidelines for implementing AT services in academic libraries. This study predicted that if librarians plan AT services and training, and market AT services using a collaborative approach that would include librarians, faculty, staff, and students with disabilities that AT services could be better provided for students with print disabilities. The panel suggested that funding issues should be resolved in some cases by working cooperatively with other departments and community agencies. The panel made the following specific recommendations.


The main problems indicated from the above study were: identifying appropriate equipment; incompatibility between AT and library electronic systems such as online public access catalogs (OPAC); screen reading navigation tools for the OPAC; and real time print captioning. Making the OPAC accessible to all users should be a priority item because this would be considered a reasonable accommodation under the ADA.


Adequate funding for AT, AT personnel, AT training, and funding for AT upgrades were the primary issues in the funding category. The panelists recommended incorporating AT training into other staff trainings and . . .

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