Recently, the U.S. Senate designated today, March 27, 2019, as “National Assistive Technology Awareness Day” (S. Res. 103).
Assistive technology (AT) is any device, tool, or adaptation that supports a person when participating in everyday activities. AT promotes greater independence by enabling people to perform tasks that they were formerly unable to accomplish or had great difficulty. Assistive technology is more common than it may sound — it can be something as simple as magnifiers or reading glasses.
In addition to designating the date, the Senate commended “assistive technology specialists and program coordinators for their hard work and dedication to serving people with disabilities who are in need of finding the proper assistive technology to meet their individual needs; and professional organizations and researchers who are dedicated to facilitating the access and acquisition of assistive technology for people with disabilities and older adults in need of assistive technology devices.”
AT supports independence; increases self-confidence, reading comprehension, and reading ability; and enhances access to library resources. Every day, libraries help people with assistive tech. They provide mobile carts, wheelchairs, magnifying and reading glasses for use in their buildings; offer a variety of eBooks, audiobooks, large print materials, and electronic databases; assist users with computers, eBook devices, and more; and visit patrons in their homes, daycares, schools, and other institutions. The Wyoming State Library works with the Talking Books program for those unable to read regular print material due to visual, physical, or reading disabilities.
The WSL has partnered with the Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND) at the University of Wyoming to make assistive technology more available and widely known throughout the state. Questions about AT in your library? Visit the Wyoming Assistive Technology Resources website or contact Tekla Slider, WSL Federal Documents Librarian, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (307) 777-6955.