Award Report- Assistive Technology Workstation
The Community Health Library of Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, PA was awarded a grant from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine to establish an Assistive Technology Computer Workstation. The Community Health Library provides consumer health information to patients, family members and the general public in a variety of formats. All services are provided free of charge.
The Assistive Technology Workstation features a variety of tools to enable patients and the general public with low/no vision and fine motor disabilities to independently access health information either online or via print materials in the library. The workstation computer includes a large screen monitor, Zoomtext magnifier/reader software, Braille keyboard, large size alternative keyboard, Plustek Reader and Big track trackball. The workstation table features adjustable table surfaces for the comfort of each indivual user.
From November 2008- February 2009 the workstation has been used by two visually impaired patients. I’m disappointed with the usage statistics. The workstation has received considerable internal and external promotion. Promotion via an organization the size of Geisinger Medical Center and the region takes time and with additional time usage will increase.
External and internal promotional initiatives were launched. The Community Health librarian coordinated five clinical staff orientation sessions with the partner departments of Ophthalmology and Geisinger HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital. Promotion continues with presentations planned for a variety of clinician, patient and external groups.
The successful implementation and installation of the workstation enables the Community Health Library in the long-term to provide a fulls cope of services and access to the target population. Without this grant, the library did not have the ability to provide equal access to the library resources. I consider this a success and the usage will follow given time and continued promotion.
Patricia Ulmer- Geisinger Medical Center, Community Health Library. Danville, PA.