Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version




Assistive technologies are tools used to promote access to information and general education curriculum for students with visual impairment. For students with visual impairment access to a diversity of high and low-tech assistive technologies, including screen readers, magnifiers, electronic braillers, braille n’ print, assist students in accessing materials in a standard print format which are not available to them. Provision of assistive technologies is to “level the playing field”, in conformity with the social model of disability where emphasizes is placed on physical and social barriers experienced by students with visual impairment and considers the problem as a society rather than persons with disability. This study focused on the provision of assistive technologies in academic libraries to students with visual impairment to ensure prompt access to relevant and timely information for academic work. Access to information has become increasingly important as society has become information - driven. Information can be transmitted electronically or provided in alternative formats for students with visual impairment. Descriptive research design utilizing the case study approach was adopted for the study. Purposive sampling technique was adopted in selecting students with visual impairment from level 100 to 400 offering different programmes. Simple stratified random sampling technique was used in selecting 50 visually impaired students from level 100-400 representing 22 male and 8 female, bringing the total sample size to 30. The outcome of the study revealed that students with visual impairment find it difficult to access relevant information for academic work, due to unavailability of assistive technologies in the library and its attendant professionals, and no alternative service for students with visual impairment. Recommendations were made to promulgate policies, undertake staff training and purchase the various assistive technologies to enable students with visual impairment access relevant information timely for academic work.