Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Making Information Accessible to All

Do you need help accessing information due to a print or visual disability? If so, the NCC Libraries would like to suggest these helpful resources.

Bookshare, a Web site provided by the U.S. Department of Education, is free to any U.S. student with a qualifying disability. The Bookshare collection includes books, textbooks, magazines and journals, which may be downloaded and accessed using adaptive technology such as "text-to-speech" software that reads text aloud, and digitized Braille display. For more information, click here: http://www.bookshare.org/.

The Free Library of Philadelphia is a regional member of the national Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, which mails materials to those who qualify. Available formats include Braille books and audiobooks (books on compact disc). An application to join this program is available on their Web site: http://lbph.library.phila.gov/.

If you live locally, be sure to contact the Lehigh Valley's Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI). This organization can help you acquire materials, aid with transportation and connect you with others. Their Web address is: http://www.abvi.org/services.html.

Finally, if you are an NCC student and need assistance, the best place for you to visit is our Disability Services Office. Their staff can assist you with requesting academic accommodations, understanding disability-related policies and creating a support plan for your individual needs. On the Main Campus, call 610-861-5342 or visit them in College Center (Rooms 240-250); at the Monroe Campus, call 570-620-9221 or stop by the Student Services Office.

Illustration credit: "Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar." Online drawing. National Federation of the Blind. 14 Sept. 2009. http://www.nfb.org/nfb/Braille_coin.asp?SnID=106146754

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