Visually Impaired Students Access Library through Follett Software

Article excerpt

Thanks in part to Follett's library circulation and online catalog software, and to Dotta Hassman, Coordinator, Instructional Media Center, Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School, visually impaired students at the school now have access to the school's library collection.

When Hassman began her position as Coordinator of the K-12 school media center in 1987, the school's traditional print card catalog was inaccessible to its students, who are print handicapped due to blindness or limited vision. Hassman contacted media centers in schools for the blind to determine whether they were automated with synthesized speech programs and learned that none were at the time. She knew an online catalog with speech capability could make the library's catalog accessible to students and began investigating such software programs, as well as grants to support their purchase.

Hassman learned that Follett's library circulation management software, Circulation Plus, and online public access catalog software, Catalog Plus, when combined with speech enhancements, provided a fully audible circulation and catalog system for visually-impaired students. With the assistance of a Library Services and Construction Act grant, the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School purchased and installed Follett's Circulation Plus and Catalog Plus software products, and began implementing a completely automated circulation and online catalog system for its students. "Our students love the computer catalog," said Hassman. …


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