Assistive technology continues to be an important topic as public libraries strive to become more inclusive spaces for all members of the community. The American Library Association has a clear policy on accessibility:
"Libraries play a catalytic role in the lives of people with disabilities by facilitating their full participation in society. Libraries should use strategies based upon the principles of universal design to ensure that library policy, resources and services meet the needs of all people."
Accessibility is also a big part of the Edge Initiative, an assessment program that provides libraries with benchmarks, best practices, and resources for public technology services.
Edge Benchmark 11 states:
"Libraries ensure participation in digital technology for people with disabilities."
Sounds pretty straightforward, but how do you actually implement this practice? We invited three speakers on our February webinar to share their unique experiences with assistive technology:
- Dina Abramson, the disability information & referral coordinator at the Texas Talking Book Program and Texas State Library
- Nancy Murillo, director of the Pittsburg - Camp County Library (TX) and a TechSoup member
- Clay Ragan, director of the Computer Training Bridge at the Forsyth County Library (NC) and also a TechSoup member