The group welcomed Bill Hemmig as the new Disabilities Coordinator for Douglass Library, and thanked Patricia Libutti (in absentia) for all that she has accomplished in working to re-establish the Libraries' Disabilities Committee over the past year.
Will be redrafted (by Kevin), distributed, then posted.
Extensive editing of the existing brochure, and its companion online version, was reviewed and confirmed. In addition to updating contact information, creating a "Major Libraries/Coordinators" link to more easily identify the coordinators, and inserting the university-wide Disability Support Services links, a larger typeface will be used, among other changes.
It was noted that the paper version of the Libraries' brochure "Reserve Services: A Guide for Faculty" has been discontinued (ASC Discussion Summary of 7/13/2006). For the online version, the committee will continue to advocate for an added emphasis upon the importance of professors submitting high-quality facsimiles for Reserves scanning, in that it significantly impacts the readability of the material for vision-challenged patrons.
It was agreed that a good way to get the new academic year started was for the Libraries' Disabilities Coordinators to introduce themselves to their local Campus Coordinator for Disability Support Services, to facilitate any possible future collaboration, expedite referrals, and exchange information, such as our brochure and business cards.
Libby reported that the person in Camden who had held the Campus Coordinator position had been laid off due to the budget cutback. Kevin will contact Disability Support Services to inquire if some one else will be given that job. It was recommended that all committee members should read, or reread the Disability Support Services "Student and Coordinator Manual," to familiarize themselves with the way services are coordinated at the university level. It was also agreed that the library coordinators drop off copies of the revised brochure at their local computer labs as soon as the new brochures become available.
All library coordinators will conduct an equipment check of the assistive technology in their building to make sure everything is in good running order, review the supporting documentation ("Quick Start" guides, etc.), confirm that the JAWS PC passwords are kept where local practice indicates (usually at Reference and/or Access Service desks, or online as at Robeson Library), as well as where room keys are kept (if necessary, as at Alexander Library), where the headphones are stored, etc.
The committee agreed that it would be a good idea to make sure the two Douglass Library-generated Quick Start guides - written by Tony Joachim and Bill Hemmig - be made locally available in all the libraries. The guides are titled "Assisting Visually- Impaired Patrons with JAWS," and "The Reading Edge Kurzweil Reader: A Beginner's Guide."
Additional New Academic Year Practice: The committee agreed that, in addition to checking the equipment, it would be a good practice for the library coordinators to send an email message to their respective buildings, to (re)introduce themselves as their library's Disabilities Coordinator, and the point person for disability-related questions as they relate to library services. (Questions or complaints about the physical nature of the libraries - bathrooms, access ramps, etc., should be directed to the library's local Administrative Team person.)
It was suggested that coordinators include with this message, as an attachment, the "Library Services for Persons with Disabilities" page, available by clicking on the wheelchair icon on the homepage, and encouraging all staff, both new and old, especially those people working at service-point desks, to read it as a way to familiarize themselves with the Libraries' commitment to service in this area. An added suggestion could be to encourage supervisory personnel to review this page with their work-study students, as they are often the first point-of-contact with library patrons.
Kevin said he will write this up as soon as possible and circulate it to the committee for their corrections, so it can be forwarded to Marilyn Wilt for the new academic year.
The committee will revisit this question at the October meeting, when we may have more information as to whether or not updated software for the JAWS screen-readers and the Kurzweil scanners have been purchased.
It is essential that there be a permanent presence by the Access Services Department on the Disabilities Committee. That was the consensus of the committee members. As of now the committee functions without the benefit of that level of participation.
Scheduled for Wednesday, October 25th, 2006, 10:00-Noon, TSB Conference Room, will teleconferencing to Newark and Camden.