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Training and Marketing Are The Keys to Successful Implementation of Adaptive Technology. Barbara T. Mates, Head, Cleveland Public Library Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Knowledge is Power!. Computers, Internet, and People with Disabilities.

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training and marketing are the keys to successful implementation of adaptive technology
Training and Marketing Are The Keys to Successful Implementation of Adaptive Technology

Barbara T. Mates, Head,

Cleveland Public Library

Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

computers internet and people with disabilities
Computers, Internet, and People with Disabilities
  • In his study “Computer and Internet Use Among People with Disabilities,” Dr. H. Stephen Kaye reports the following conclusions:
    • Despite the fact that people with disabilities are perhaps the single segment of society with the most to gain from new technologies in this electronic age, they have the lowest rates of use of these technologies.
computers internet and people with disabilities1
Computers, Internet, and People with Disabilities
  • The largest barrier is one of access. . .
    • Many people with disabilities are poor and cannot afford:
      • a computer capable of navigating the Internet
      • specialized adaptive hardware/software needed to use a computer or the Internet
      • monthly charges to use the Internet
computers internet and people with disabilities2
Computers, Internet, and People with Disabilities
  • In order to clarify the benefits that this technology could offer to populations with disabilities, it is
  • imperative “to offer a concerted program of education, training, and support in the use of hardware/software.”

Kaye, H.S. (2000). Computer and Internet Use Among People with Disabilities. Disability Statistics Report (13). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.

what is our responsibility as information providers
What is our responsibility as information providers?
  • When we provide adaptive technology to our communities, we must go beyond merely buying computers and installing the equipment
develop an effective teaching module
Develop An Effective Teaching Module
  • It is suggested that a specific person (and back-up) to be responsible for the adaptive technology. Their duties would include:
    • Demonstrations
    • Patron and Staff Training
    • Writing instructions
    • Provide technical assistance and trouble shooting on the adaptive technology
give staff the tools to work with
Give Staff The Tools to Work With
  • Provide a reference binder with instructions and trouble shooting guides on each program for staff and patrons
  • Communicate with staff members where assistive technology is located to assure them support is there
  • Make sure staff knows that persons with disabilities are “PEOPLE FIRST!”
provide continuous in service training
Provide Continuous “In Service” Training
  • For library staff where adaptive technology is housed
    • On all adaptive technology
    • Repeat training for new staff, and refreshers for those who need it
    • Provide in-house written instructions, and name of adaptive technology coordinator to contact in case of problems

Assure That The Entire Staff Has A Rudimentary Knowledge of the Equipment and the Actual Accessible Locations

  • At staff meetings reiterate locations of equipment and their purpose
  • Insert notices in the Staff Newsletter at frequent intervals
  • Post availability of access devices on Library’s Web-Site
provide patron training on equipment usage
Provide Patron Training on Equipment Usage
  • Provide instruction and tutoring for patrons, including:
    • Free demonstrations, instruction, and tutoring for individuals, done by appointment with adaptive technology coordinator
    • Limited instruction and training is provided for patrons by library staff, including how to get started and basic operation of the software
be prepared to provide training on library usage
Be Prepared to Provide Training on Library Usage
  • Basic search techniques must be taught

-Many of the potential users have never had an opportunity to use traditional libraries and simply do not know what is possible

-The potential of encyclopedias, dictionaries and other reference tools must be taught

techniques of web searches and engines need to be explained as well as screen displays
Techniques of Web Searches and Engines Need to be Explained As Well As Screen Displays
  • Concept of searching needs to be explained
  • Explain the appearance of web-sites and why the screen readers may go awry
  • Suggest using “seti-search” available at <>
reach out to the community
Reach Out to the Community
  • Develop a flyer in appropriate medium announcing your innovations and mail to: LBPH readers, social agencies, rehabilitation agencies, churches, schools, and other integral community groups
organize a media event
Organize A Media Event
  • Find a reason to hold a party or celebration which will draw the media. It could be a birthday party for a famous person with a disability or a celebration of a person with disability’s accomplishments
  • Be sure however that you remember to invite the intended audience
celebrate these celebrities
Celebrate These Celebrities!





Itzak Perlman

Thomas Alva Edison

Eliabeth Barret Browning

Sarah Bernhardt

celebrate your hometown citizens
Celebrate Your Hometown Citizens

Friends and


Easter Seal

Poster Child





Guide Dog


publish your own accessibility zine
Publish Your Own Accessibility “Zine”
  • Develop a simple 4-6 page newsletter which will
    • Increase community awareness that your Library has adaptive technology
    • Emphasize that using & training for the adaptive equipment is “FREE”
    • Explain to the public what the technology is, and what it could perhaps do for them
publish your own accessibility zine1
Publish Your Own Accessibility “Zine”
  • The should include a reply sheet where the public could:
    • Request additional information about the adaptive equipment (pricing, contact, etc.)
    • Arrange for training
    • Arrange to see a demonstration of the adaptive equipment
    • Refer a friend whom they feel would like some information
publish your own accessibility zine2
Publish Your Own Accessibility “Zine”
  • Include anecdotal stories that are targeted to the agencies you will distribute the “zine”

--Interview patrons who have come into the library to try to equipment

  • Include updates about new products, websites, manufacturer’s tips
distribute the zine
Distribute the “Zine”
  • Distribute your “zine” to senior centers, schools, places of worship, government offices, etc.. Post your “zine” on your web-site then seek links

- Ask mainstream computer groups to link to your newsletter

- Ask school systems, government agencies or any agency seeking information providers to link to your “zine”

marketing does bring results in the form of new patrons
Marketing Does Bring Results in the Form of New Patrons
  • For March, 2000 67 replies to the “LBPH Cyberwire” were received. These replies included 183 different inquires for information about adaptive equipment. The majority of people either requested additional information or wanted to see a demonstration of the equipment.
patrons and staff will soon be rewarded
Patrons and Staff Will Soon Be Rewarded
  • Max, a retiree and volunteer at the Cleveland LBPH, went from knowing practically nothing about computers, to successfully navigating the Internet and sending and receiving his own email thanks to our adaptive technology and our tutoring.
and continue to be rewarded
And Continue to be rewarded
  • Ron, a telephone operator, who is blind and has cerebral palsy, purchased a computer with JAWS. Once he set-up his computer, he didn’t know how to use it. After three sessions, Ron can successfully find his favorite web sites, and send email to friends and family.
what makes the difference
What makes the difference. . .
  • Hiring and designating someone to be responsible for the adaptive technology
  • Developing and writing specific guides, instructions, and trouble-shooters for library patrons and staff
  • Providing patron and staff training, technical assistance, and refreshers on the adaptive technology
  • Promoting adaptive technology to the community
finding funding also makes a difference
Finding Funding Also Makes A Difference
  • Library Services Technology Act
  • Technology Assistance Grant
  • Civic Clubs and Service Organizations -Will at least offer seed money
  • Local and National Foundations
funding reference resources
Funding Reference Resources
  • Alliance for Technology Access Resource Centers located at: <>
  • National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research at: <>
  • NTIA Grant Program at: <>
grant application tips
  • Do not call anything unique
  • Do not call yourselves the “only” anything
  • Do not use the words grow or impact asverbs
  • Do not use professional jargon
  • Do not use fancy folders
grant application tips1
Grant Application Tips
  • Define Needs Using Specific Numbers
  • Use Diagrams or Pictures When Needed
  • Meet Deadlines and Follow Directions Carefully
  • If possible, hand deliver application with a smile and a thank you

Remember you have the ability to give the power of information to persons with disabilities. This power will give them the ability to change and enrich their lives.