Words to Ponder....

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Is It Possible to Violate Copyright When Providing an Accessible Copy?

Actually, yes. Not anyone can just produce copies of something and provide it for the visually impaired, so be careful. There are special entities that make and provide specialized formats of materials. The National Library Service for the Blind is one of those entities. It provides libraries all over the country (I guess that partially answers the question in my last post!) To find a library near you, a link is provided on the NLS website www.loc.gov/nls/index.html to search. I searched Pennsylvania and discovered the closest one to me is in Pittsburgh at Carnegie:

Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Leonard C. Staisey Building
4724 Baum Boulevard Pittsburgh, PA 15213-1389
Librarian: Kathleen Kappel
Telephone: (412) 687-2440 Toll-free (In-state): (800) 242-0586 FAX: (412) 687-2442
E-mail: lbph@carnegielibrary.org
Web site: http://www.carnegielibrary.org/lbph
Hours of Operation: 9:00-5:00 M-F

Pretty cool, huh?

Do Libraries Provide Access for the Visually Impaired?

Steph raised an interesting question in her response to my last post. She wondered if their are libraries that provide access for the visually impaired. I personally haven't been to one with obvious concessions to the visually impaired, but I'm sure there are. It seems that academic libraries would be more apt to provide these services. I remember at the beginning of this semester receiving correspondence from Clarion telling what to do if we had any special needs regarding Internet access, etc., so I guess that's one example of an academic library/university
providing special concessions.

I also came across a very good website with guidelines on how to provide IT access for the visually impaired. It mentions that it is far less costly to upgrade and purchase technologies as they become available rather than waiting until you actually need them for a visually impaired person and have to purchase them all at once.

The site is provided by University of Washington and the organization is called DO IT.

I found it interesting to peruse the suggestions and steps. Does anyone else have any experience with visually impaired technologies or has anyone seen it in use in a library?

Monday, October 20, 2008

So, Exactly What Is an Accessible Copy?

Well, put simply, an "accessible copy" is a version of a work that provides for improved or easier access for a visually impaired person. This means that possibly even the original format of the work may need to be altered. An accessible copy can include added capabilities for navigating around the original version, so it includes both hard and soft copies. In other words, if a person is totally blind, a text can be made into an audio format so the person can listen to the book, or it could be translated into braille. What if a person can see, but cannot hold a book? This person is also included in the context of visually impaired and can have books made into e-books and the like for easier use which also comes under the definition of an accessible copy.

With audio books being published and many libraries now lending them, certain types of accessible copies are much easier to come by these days.