Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Assistive Technologies: Spotlight on Utah State Library for the Blind and Disabled

Utah State Library for the Blind and Disabled

The Utah State Library for the Blind and Disabled provides materials found in public libraries in formats accessible to the blind and disabled. Services are provided by the Utah State Library Division in cooperation with the Library of Congress, National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled. Since its fledgling beginnings, the Utah State Library’s Program for the Blind and Disabled has expanded to serve patrons in Utah, Wyoming and Alaska, and also provides braille to people in 23 states nationwide. Today Lisa Nelson provides us with information and insights on this special-format library from her experience of working for the Blind Library Program at the Utah State Library for over 17 years, and as the program manager for 9 years. What is your library’s role within the disability community? The library’s role is to provide informational and leisure reading materials in a format that is accessible to people…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Assistive Technologies: Spotlight on DC Public Library Center for Accessibility

Image of the White House lawn at the signing of the American with Disabilities Act from the Special Issue of Worklife, p. 3 by the national museum of american history

I spoke to Patrick James of the Center for Accessibility, part of the DC Public Library (DCPL), for this final post in our series highlighting best practices in assistive technology. What is your library’s role within the disability community? DC has a strong disability community.  Gallaudet University, a federally chartered private university for the Deaf, and the American Federation of the Blind, for which Helen Keller was an ambassador, are centered in or around DC.   Since all of DC is federal land, not a state, the federal government influences the library. The DCPL Center for Accessibility’s manager is part of the Office of Disability Rights, part of the federal government.   The Center houses the DC Talking Book and Braille Library, part of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled.  The Center has three librarians: a librarian for the Deaf community, a librarian for the blind community, and…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Assistive Technologies: Spotlight On Carrie Banks

Carrie Banks holds a bird puppet and looks at it.

To kick things off for our series highlighting best practices in assistive technology, we reached out to a few specialists in the field.  Carrie Banks has been the Supervising Librarian for Inclusive Services at Brooklyn Public Library in New York since 1997.  She’s taught Including Youth with Disabilities at Pratt Institute (2013-2015) and is active in ALSC as well as ASGCLA where she is serving as the president elect.  In 2014, she substantially revised Including Families of Children with Special Needs: A How to Do It Manual for Librarians. She also published Libraries and Garden: Growing Together, written with Cynthia Mediavilla in the Spring of 2019. What recommendations do you have for libraries hoping to add or expand assistive technologies? Work with the individuals you hope to serve, their families and the agencies that work with them to determine what is needed and what would work.  This will also help…