Sorry to report that British television and film producer/director Gerry Anderson passed away on December 26th at the age of 83. (Click here for details.)
December 2012 Archives
A colleague referred me to a recent New York Times Book Review essay by Oliver Sacks on how he and other print disabled people must adapt to new ways of accessing books, articles, and other writings. Dr. Sacks makes the compelling case, including using examples of patients who found ways to deal with being unable to read, that all books "should be accessible in as many formats as possible" for persons forced by various circumstances (like loss of vision) to seek out alternative ways of reading.
You can read the article here. I especially liked Dr. Sacks' rationale about large print and braille books, and why they should be made easier to find. (Thanks SS!)
Greenwich Library has and will continue to offer services such as large print books, ebooks and audiobooks to those who are print disabled. We also offer access, via the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, to braille and audio materials/downloads. Go to our Library for the Print Disabled page here to find out more information on what we can offer. And be sure to check out our online ADA page for other services.
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As you might have heard, the United Nations "Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities" treaty was rejected for ratification by the United States Senate last Tuesday. Thirty-eight senators voted against the treaty for various reasons, none of which I find even remotely valid or informed. (See what I mean?) Kudos to our own Senators Blumenthal and Lieberman, who voted for ratification.
Had it passed, the treaty would've simply acknowledged that all persons, regardless of ability or disability, should be treated fairly and with respect. The aim of the treaty was to improve conditions for the disabled throughout the world, and had the Senate passed it, the United States would've helped lead the fight against discrimination towards persons (including children and veterans) with disabilities. (The treaty was inspired by the passage of our country's own Americans wirh Disabilities Act in 1990.)
A listing of the senators who voted for and against the bill can be found here. If you'd like to contact the senators and let them know how you feel (nicely), you can find out where to contact them by clicking here. There's a good chance the treaty will be brought up again at the next Senate session after January, but in the meantime, you can still make your voices heard on this important matter.
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Since the publication of this month's Keep Posted newsletter and it's story on our ADA services to patrons with disabilities, I've been getting a lot of questions. Specifically, patrons have been asking me where they can get some of the assistive technology equipment and software for their own home use.
The vendor I've dealt with is Freedom Scientific (click here to go on their site), which offers the JAWS and MAGic software, as well as the Ruby handheld video magnifier (pictured above). (The Optelec Traveller magnifier, which we got from FS some years back, is no longer in stock, however.) VideoEye (click here), which provided the VideoEye Millennium Magnifier located on the first floor of the library in Periodicals, also offers assistive tech equipment.
You can go on these sites to find out what other products are being offered. Note that VideoEye's site only lists a phone number if you have any questions about prices.
Questions? Email me or call me at (203) 622-7918. And keep checking our ADA page for updates.
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