ERIC Number: ED452881
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Levelling the Playing Field: The Role of Libraries in Providing Online Services for People with Disabilities.
Williamson, Kirsty; Wright, Steve; Schauder, Don; Jenkins, Louise; Stillman, Larry
This study addressed, within the context of Australian public libraries, how people with disabilities can more easily share in the new world of instant information and communication offered by the Internet. Eight public libraries from Victoria and one from Wagga Wagga participated. The sample consisted of 85 adults with a variety of physical and intellectual disabilities. The first stage of data collection involved the evaluation of a range of different equipment considered suitable for public settings. The second stage saw the development of training focusing on the equipment recommended as a result of the evaluation stage. This paper presents results in the following areas: (1) evaluation of adaptive equipment and software, including Intellikeys, Enhancing Internet Access (EIA), trackballs, and the Opera browser; (2) selecting appropriate technology, including criteria to be considered, characteristics to avoid, and recommended equipment and software related to these criteria; (3) training for EIA and Opera; (4) training recommendations; and (5) access policies. Key project recommendations include: adaptive equipment/software need to be selected with care; attention needs to be paid to associated accessibility issues; disability awareness kits can play a valuable role for library staff; library staff require training and reference guides to use adaptive equipment/software effectively; and partnerships with local disability organizations should be established. (Contains 13 references.) (MES)
Descriptors: Access to Information, Accessibility (for Disabled), Appropriate Technology, Assistive Devices (for Disabled), Computer Software, Disabilities, Foreign Countries, Internet, Library Role, Library Services, Public Libraries, Training, User Needs (Information), Users (Information)
For full text: http://www.alia.org.au/conferences/alia2000/proceedings/kirs ty.williamson.html.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia