IL- Assistive Technology
Hopkins, J. (2004). School Library Accessibility: The Role of Assistive Technology. Teacher Librarian, 31(3), 15-18.
School library accessibility is a subject more k-12 public schools need to address according to this article by Janet Hopkins. She presents a detailed account of the value of Assistive Technology (A.T.) in a school library setting along with a definition of A.T. by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (I.D.E.A.) of 2003. An explanation is given of the wide range of A.T. available from the simplicity of including large print materials into a collection to the complexity of AAC (Assistive Alternative Communication) devices which will speak for students. An online database can be found at www.abledata.com which is a great resource for A.T. equipment. Janet Hopkins provides a list of rationale for having A.T. in the school library which includes a patron’s rights to access information, inclusiveness, self-esteem, and peer acceptance. A checklist has been created for teachers to use within their own libraries. Collaboration, once again, is the key to success. The author of this article recommends the teacher librarian collaborate with teachers and special education teachers on site to make the school library and information equally accessible for all students.
As a complete article, it could be used as a great resource for converting a school library into an all inclusive school library. Using A.T. in a school library setting is a proactive decision to enable positive learning experiences for all students. I would recommend this article to any educator.