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County Library Upgrades Technology
February 20, 2008 - New Castle-Henry County Public Library works to be on the cutting edge of technology. This desire extends to serving those with special needs. The library recently acquired technology for individuals who may have difficulty using a typical computer. For nearly a year, the library worked with Crossroads Easter Seals to establish a service for the special needs population. The result is innovative equipment located outside the Indiana Room on the upper level of the library.
The primary component of the equipment is a height-adjustable workstation which allows the user to raise and lower workstation surfaces with two easy-to-use switches located at the front left of the workstation. The curved design allows users to get close to the computer. The desk also features a chair suited for a physically disabled individual and articulating arms supports which can help anyone who struggles to use their arms. There is an Intellikeys keyboard which provides a number of large, easy-to-read keyboard layouts such as alphabetical and numerical, and specialized mouse devices designed for users with limited mobility and repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel.
This workstation is equipped with valuable software. Read and Write Gold can read text aloud and help the user construct words and sentences, providing help to computer users with reading and writing difficulties, including dyslexia. The OpenBook document scan and read system allows users to scan printed materials and have those materials read back to them, edit documents, and look up words. The Jaws screen reading system helps users who are visually impaired to access the computer. This software also offers accelerator keystrokes for Microsoft programs and the Internet.
Next to the height-adjustable workstation is a magnifying computer for those who struggle to read fine print. This system magnifies anything placed under it from two to more than 50 times its original size… all in clear focus. It also features a high-quality monitor and lighting design. The entire system is controlled by a single button. In addition, the library has a hand-held magnifier available at the reference desk to help those with vision impairments read the call numbers on the spine of books.
For more information or to schedule an introductory training session, call Janet Twigg, New Castle-Henry County Public Library’s Reference Librarian, at 765-529-0362, ext. 309, or send e-mail to email@example.com.
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