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Assistive Technology: Hardware Devices for Academic Libraries to Provide Equitable Access to Information for Visually Impaired Persons

Library Herald

Year : 2022, Volume : 60, Issue : 4

First page : ( 37) Last page : ( 54)

Print ISSN : 0024-2292. Online ISSN : 0976-2469.

Article DOI : 10.5958/0976-2469.2022.00037.9


Assistive Technology: Hardware Devices for Academic Libraries to Provide Equitable Access to Information for Visually Impaired Persons


Singh Dalip1, Gupta Dinesh K2

1Research Scholar, Dept. of Lib. Inf. Sc., Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra

2Professor, Dept. of Lib. Inf. Sc., Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra


Abstract

The primary purpose of this study is to evaluate the cutting-edge Assistive Technologies (AT) hardware devices that are useful for academic libraries to amalgamate Visually Impaired (VI) users into the mainstream of library services. In addition, the study also advocates and promotes the use of AT hardware devices in academic libraries, especially in developing nations, as the best possible solution for providing equitable access to information to VI users. This study found that only a few academic libraries in India have integrated a few essential ATs in the library to facilitate VI users. Consequently, most VI users are not getting equitable access to library resources and services, creating a wide gap between the availability of information in the public domain and its accessibility to VI users. The study enlists some AT hardware devices and their tentative costing, features and names of the vendors or suppliers, which may be very useful for academic libraries in procuring suitable AT devices and providing equitable access to library resources to VI users. This study focuses on AT hardware devices useful for VI users in academic libraries. The study highlights some state-of-the-art AT hardware devices that may create awareness among academic libraries interested in introducing suitable AT hardware devices for VI users. This study will be helpful for traditional libraries in the transition phase of becoming inclusive libraries and at the edge of finalising AT solutions to open their doors to VI users. This paper will also give library professionals an innovative idea on the latest AT hardware devices available in the market and would be a boon for improving the accessibility and usability of library resources for VI users.


Keywords

Assistive Technology, Inclusive Library, Equal Opportunities, Divyangjan, Visually Impaired Persons, Blind, Low Vision.

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