Assistive Technologies for Individuals with Print Disabilities in Academic Libraries
Green, Ravonne A.
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ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGIES FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH PRINT DISABILITIES IN ACADEMIC LIBRARIES (Abstract) This study identifies substantive issues and suggests guidelines for using assistive technology (AT) in academic libraries. The Delphi Technique was used with a panel of librarians, disability service providers, and AT experts to determine these issues and guidelines for AT services in academic libraries. There were 55 substantive issues identified by a panel of experts for providing appropriate AT in an academic library setting. Some of these issues included training opportunities, providing adequate funding for the purchase and maintenance of AT, funding for staff in-service training and training for individuals with disabilities, evaluation of AT services, and including individuals with disabilities in AT decision making. Accessibility and marketing issues also emerged. A professional panel consisting of 12 library, AT, and disability services experts developed guidelines for these issues. The panel rated the desirability of the guidelines using a Likert-type scale (1= important, 2=relevant problem, 3= insignificantly relevant problem, and 4=no relevance). All issues and guidelines receiving two-thirds of the responding panelists' ratings were included in the important and relevant categories. It was predicted that if librarians plan AT services and training, and market AT services using a collaborative approach that would include librarians, faculty, staff and students with disabilities that AT services could be better provided for students with print disabilities. The panel suggested that funding issues may be resolved in some cases by working cooperatively with other departments and community agencies.
- Doctoral Dissertations