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Adaptive Technology (AT) Program DC Public Library Adaptive Services Division. Society of American Archivists Conference 2010 Venetia Demson, Patrick Timony. Adaptive Services Division. DC Regional Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped Library Services for the Deaf Community

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adaptive technology at program dc public library adaptive services division
Adaptive Technology (AT) Program DC Public Library Adaptive Services Division

Society of American Archivists Conference 2010

Venetia Demson, Patrick Timony

adaptive services division
Adaptive Services Division

DC Regional Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped

Library Services for the Deaf Community

Adaptive Technology Program

LSTAR: Library materials by mail program

Washington Volunteer Readers for the Blind

adaptive services
Adaptive Services

Dedicated to making reading, library resources and programs accessible to persons with disabilities by:

  • Providing books in alternate formats – audio, e-text, large print and Braille
  • Educating public and staff about adaptive technology and disability awareness
    • Demonstration collection of Adaptive Technology (AT)
    • Training on AT and disability awareness
    • Patrons helping patrons – networking, sharing, building community around AT
  • Ensuring access to the internet and online resources
  • Promoting accessibility
    • Library facilities ADA compliance surveys
    • ASL interpretation contract, CART services, Braille agendas, audio-description services, etc., for library programs & staff with disabilities
    • Accommodation Statement for library programs and services
  • Offering programs & exhibits of special interest to the disability community
  • Providing a welcoming & safe community space for networking, reading and life-long learning
  • Serving patrons of all ages and promoting independence
at programs
AT Programs

AT Training

ada facilities survey examples of measurements
ADA Facilities Survey:Examples of Measurements
  • Are aisles between seating at least 36 inches wide?
  • Are the tops of tables or counters between 28 and 34 inches high?
  • Are knee spaces beneath accessible tables at least 27 inches high, 30 inches wide, and 19 inches deep?
  • At each type of service counter, is there a portion of the main counter that is at least 36 inches wide and less or equal to 36 inches in height?
accommodation statement
Accommodation Statement

The DC Public Library encourages persons with disabilities to participate in our programs, services and Board of Trustees meetings.  If you have questions about physical access, need handouts in alternate format, or require American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation or other reasonable accommodation to participate, please contact Venetia V. Demson, Chief, Adaptive Services, by e-mail: [email protected] or telephone: 202-727-2142, or Janice Rosen by videophone: 202-559-5368 or Sorenson video relay service 1-866-570-7364; or TTY: 202-727-2255, Monday –Tuesday, Noon to 8:30 p.m., Wednesday - Friday 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.  Please request accommodation as early as possible, but at least seven days in advance of the meeting, so that proper arrangements may be made.   If you have requested ASL interpretation or other accommodation, and find you cannot attend, please contact us promptly to cancel your request.

tactile exhibits
Tactile Exhibits

Braille Book Club

adaptive services programs
Adaptive Services Programs
  • Saturday Technology Training Sessions – 1st & 3rd Saturdays
  • Talking Book Club – 2nd Tuesday
  • Braille Book Club – 1st Saturday
  • Free public ASL classes - daily
  • WebAccessibility Meetup – 3rd Tuesday
  • Employment Meetup – Monday evenings
  • Annual AccessibilityCampDC unconference – Oct. 9
  • Adaptive Services Interest Group of DC Library Association Deaf Community book and author talks
  • Shared Reading Project coming in the Fall - monthly
adaptive technology
Adaptive Technology
  • Device or software that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.
  • Examples:
    • screen reader
    • screen magnifier
    • scanning and reading system
why provide at
Why provide AT?

Laws that support AT

Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990

ADA Amendments Act of 2008

Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Sections 504, 508

Equity of Access

Goal of Universal Access

Curb Cuts

Large Print Books

Accessible Webpages

how we developed an adaptive technology program
How We Developed an Adaptive Technology Program
  • Outline a Plan
    • Goals -- Segregated vs. Inclusive Model
    • Concept of Universal Accessibility
    • Funding
    • Accessible Website
    • Audience
    • Facility – space, furniture, layout
  • Buy-In from Administration & Information Technology
  • Find or Train a Dedicated AT Specialist
  • Purchase Adaptive Technology
how to develop an adaptive technology program cont d
How to Develop an Adaptive Technology Program (cont’d…)
  • Train Staff in:
    • AT use and trouble shooting
    • Disability Awareness
  • Coordinate an AT Training Program
    • Find or develop Curriculum
    • Find Volunteer Trainers
  • Host Networking Programs for
    • AT Users
    • Web Accessibility Developers and AT users
    • Local AT Professionals
  • Distribute ATs to remote locations
    • Networked ATs
web accessibility
Web Accessibility
  • Free Testers (WAVE)
  • World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

#A11y, #Axs, #accessibility hashtags on Twitter

    • Follow @jennison, @webaxe, @patricktimony
  • Contact Web Accessibility Specialists
    • Deque, BART group
some webpage accessibility considerations
Some Webpage Accessibility Considerations
  • Video or audio clips?

- Open caption them for the deaf, audio-describe videos for the blind

  • Photos, banners, logos?

- Descriptive captions for screen-reading software

  • PDFs and Web page structure?

- Accessible and logical for screen-reading software

barcamps unconferences and a11y

Barcamps, Unconferences and #A11y

@vdemson, @patricktimony - DC Public Library

examples of adaptive technologies
Examples of Adaptive Technologies
  • Screen Reader (JAWS)
  • Screen Magnifier (MAGic)
  • Scanning and Reading Device (OpenBook)
  • Learning Difference Solution (WYNN)
  • CCTV Video Magnifiers
  • Stand Alone Scanner and Reader (SARA)
  • Digital Audio Book Reader (Victor Stream)
  • Speech Recognition (Dragon)
  • Alternative Mice (Head Tracker)
  • Video Phone and Relay (Sorenson)
  • Touch Screen (iTouch and iPad)
screen readers
Screen Readers


  • A Screen Reader is a software that uses a Synthesized Voice to read information from a computer screen
  • Users hit special key combinations rather than use the mouse.
  • Many websites are not accessible to screen readers because of unlabeled graphics or other bad design.
screen magnifiers
Screen Magnifiers

Screen Magnifiers make the information on the computer screen bigger so that people with low vision can see it.


cctv video magnification
CCTV Video Magnification
  • Magnification to 70x
  • Color
  • Auto focus
  • Movable tray
portable cctvs
Portable CCTVs
  • Ruby
  • Senseview
  • Smart phones Apps

Refreshable Braille Display

Braille Embosser – loud, need enclosure

Duxbury Braille Translation software

Easy Converter – Format Translation

Web Braille from NLS

braillenote pacmate icon
BrailleNote, PacMate, Icon
  • Refreshable Braille display
  • Braille keyboard or QWERTY
  • Word Processing
  • Media Player
  • E-Mail
  • Daily Planner
  • WebBrowser
  • Bluetooth & WiFi
  • Open vs. Closed
  • Youtube
  • Camtasia
  • NCAM - Magpie
  • CaptionItYourself
mice and keyboards
Mice and Keyboards
  • Big Keys
  • Roller Mouse
national library service for the blind physically handicapped
National Library Service for the Blind & Physically Handicapped
  • Player and USB cartridge
  • Size of large print book, 2 pounds
  • Rewind and Fast Forward buttons jump by increment
  • BARD Downloadable Talking Books and Web Braille (electronic Braille)
recording for the blind and dyslexic
Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic
  • Non-profit organization that records textbooks
  • Textbooks in CD format
  • Not compatible with NLS playback machines
  • $75 to join
  • Must buy player
  • Contact RFB&D for specials
bookshare org
  • Online accessible digital library for print disabled readers.
  • Available for free to all print disabled students in the US.
playaway books
PlayAway Books
  • Digital audiobook that plays itself
  • No other gadget needed
  • One AAA battery
  • Bookmark, FFW, RWD
  • Skip by Chapter
  • Speed Control
learning software
Learning Software
  • WYNN Wizard and Kurzweil 3000
    • Scanning, reading, writing
  • Kidspiration, Inspiration, InspireData

– Visual Organization

menu driven software guide
Menu Driven Software: Guide
  • Makes the computer easy to use
  • Menu Driven
  • Magnification and Speech
audio description
Audio Description
  • Audio description (AD) makes the visual images of media accessible for people who are blind and visually impaired—the visual is made verbal. Using words that are succinct, vivid, and imaginative, describers convey the visual image that is not fully accessible to a segment of the population and not fully realized by the rest of us—people who see but who may not observe.

“The sun rises over distant clouds and reflects off a gently rolling regression of waves that meet the horizon”

touch screen mobile devices
Touch Screen Mobile Devices
  • iPad
    • Built in Screen Reader and Full Screen Magnifier
    • Accessible apps for many different disabilities
    • Intuitive accessibility – short learning curve
  • Many Competitors coming out 2010-2011
open source and free ats
Open Source and Free ATs
  • Read Please – Text to Speech for Learning
  • Screen Readers:
    • Non Visual Desktop Access (NVDA)
    • System Access to Go
    • Thunder
  • Windows and Mac Accessibility
open space unconferences
Open Space (Unconferences)
  • Accessibility Camp
  • Library Camp
  • Crisis Camp
  • Be aware that people with disabilities face social barriers (be proactive and respectful)
  • Listen to the request carefully. Don’t confuse a person’s disability with their information needs
  • Promote Independence / Provide Access
  • People first language
  • Nothing about us without us
blindness and low vision
Blindness and Low Vision:
  • Blind / Low Vision / Legally Blind
  • Speak directly to the patron in a normal voice
  • Do not touch or pet a guide dog.
  • Use the clock face for directions
  • Escort the customer to their destination.
mobility impairments
Mobility Impairments
  • Clear physical pathways
  • Be prepared to help with physical tasks.
  • Ask questions related to inquiry, but not about the disability.
  • Ask permission before touching chair (personal space)
  • Try to get on eye-level when talking to a person in a wheelchair.
  • Offer a seat to people who have difficulty standing.
learning and cognitive
Learning and Cognitive
  • Speak slowly and clearly and allow time for processing.
  • Be simple and clear.
  • Use multiple formats: Show and tell
  • Recognize signs of social anxiety and act to put customer more at ease
deaf and hard of hearing
Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Communicate by speaking, writing, signing, lip reading, gesturing or a combination.
  • Know the equipment:
    • assistive listening devices,
    • videophones,
    • pencil and paper
  • Touch a shoulder gently, wave, or tap on the table for attention.
  • Position yourself for visibility.
  • Maintain eye contact. Speak directly to the customer
  • Speak naturally – don’t exaggerate, shout, or speak slowly.
thank you
Thank You!

Venetia Demson, Patrick Timony

Adaptive Services Division, Room 215

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library

901 G St., NW Washington DC 20001

M,T 12pm-9pm / W,Th,F 9:30am-5:30pm


[email protected]

  • ASCLA Toolkit (google “ASCLA Toolkit)
  • Jennison Asuncion podcast transcript on social media and accessibility with EASI
  • TEDxSiliconValley - Victor Tsaran, Yahoo!\'s Accessibility Program Manager TED talk
  • Yahoo!\'s Accessibility Lab
  • Twitter Accessibility Roundup from WebAIM
  • Web Axe Podcast and Blog
  • Accessibility-Camp-DC summary
  • Accessibility-Camp-DC slides
  • Accessibility-Camp-BOS website:


  • Open Space Technology

  • Public Media Camp Planning Document – Peter Corbett, iStrategy
  • Is the iPad accessible?
  • Youtube iPad cat Demo
  • Youtube iPod VoiceOver Demo
  • CaptionItYourself:
  • WAVE Accessibility Tester
  • Deque Systems
  • SSB Bart Group
  • DO-IT at the University of Washington has a good resource list.
  • The Trace Center has a good resource list.