Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

 

Abstract

The present study compares use of assistive technology for the visually challenged students provided by the special schools in the Medinipur division under the Districts of Bankura, Purulia, Paschim Medinipur, Jhargram and Purba Medinipur and that of the special schools in the Burdwan division under the districts of Birbhum, Purba Bardhaman, Paschim Bardhaman and Hooghly for providing services to the visually challenged students of secondary and higher secondary level. The study reveals that the institutes meant for the visually challenged should increase access, availability and funding for assistive technology through efforts and initiatives. Only one institute in Medinipur division i.e. Vivekananda Mission Asram (VMA) uses sufficient Braille resources and Assistive technology. Among the institutes in Burdwan division Asansol Braille Academy uses sufficient Braille resources and assistive technology. It has been revealed from the study that due to improper information about the assistance from the Government level (both Central and State) these institutes are suffering from shortage of funds. Also shortage of teaching faculty in these institutes is another hindrance in the overall development of the visually challenged students. The school authorities must take initiatives in introducing assistive technologies to visually-challenged students and they should get proper training in using it. There is great need of development and implementation of laws, regulations, policies, practices and procedures or organizational structures that promote access to Assistive Technology devices and services because people with disabilities have to stop being underrepresented in libraries.

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