Spreading the Word about Accessible Technology – Thanks to an NN/LM GMR Technology Award!
Christina Wray Creech
Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, Center for Disability Information and Referral
2853 E. 10th Street
Bloomington, Indiana 47408
Do you remember that giddy feeling you got the first time you explored the Internet, or the first time you were reading something for school and you really “got it?” It’s an AMAZING feeling that opens whole new worlds up, and accessible technology is one of the great tools that can help people with disabilities connect and communicate in the classroom and beyond. There are a lot of different options out there, both with software and hardware, and it can be difficult for people to know where to begin in finding the right fit for themselves or their students. Now, thanks in part to a Technology Award from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Greater Midwest Region, the Center for Disability Information and Referral (CeDIR) can offer visitors the opportunity to try out a variety of different software and navigation tools at an adjustable height table to see what works best for them!
CeDIR is part of the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community and has the opportunity to work with people with disabilities, their family members, professionals in the field and educators. Our Accessible Technology workstation allows us to introduce screen readers, screen magnifiers, text manipulators and visual communication systems as well as some of the physical hardware that can greatly increase accessibility to electronic resources. Our new Accessible workstation was a featured highlight at this year’s open house where we had approximately 100 visitors from 17 different Indiana counties! After having the opportunity to try out and experience accessible technology, our users can then spread the word about these opportunities in their own communities throughout the state. This technology award has allowed us to provide the most up to date software and a new computer to run it on, and we cannot thank the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Greater Midwest Region enough for granting us funding that has allowed us to introduce and spread the word about accessible technology to our patrons!
This project was funded in part with Federal Funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services under Contract No. N01-LM-6-3503 with the University of Illinois at Chicago.