That sounds nice, but if you are the blind person or deaf person trying to
get such services, it's a whole different ball game, and much more
- Jackie McCraw
From: Susan Gilbert Beck [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Wednesday, December 13, 2000 11:55 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: How are the blind and deaf helped who speak a language
other than English?
Many public, academic and research libraries have foreign language
collections. Detroit Public, for example, used to have a collection that was
sent out in sub-collections of specific languages to public libraries around
the state that asked for them. One library I know of received small
collections of books in Finnish several times a year at their request for
books in Finnish. All collections around the state rotated. Libraries also
receive foreign journals and newspapers.
If one had that kind of service, just as one scenario, and a Kurzweil,
that's access. If you have a group of people who will read onto tape (as
volunteers do in the U.S.) or read directly to the person, or sign if the
person "speaks" sign language, that's access. Those of us who have used the
technology know that it is not always perfect. It will not read all unusual
characters--sometimes it does not even read the usual. But the librarians
and the offices for services to persons with disabilities I know,
traditionally, have bent over backwards to offer service to the individual.
The law was good for a lot of people, but the U.S. libraries Michael's
asking about have been into special services for a very long time. English
as a second language is not new to them.
As to what happens when someone with a disability who speaks only Pharsee
approaches an English-speaking-only librarian at the desk: That depends upon
the training of the staff, the common sense of the person behind the desk,
maybe a dictionary, web access, and maybe a good referral file (this latter
might include someone who speaks Pharsee). All these things are indigenous
to the library profession.
Proud of the Profession--Susan
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Library Access -- http://www.rit.edu/~easi
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Steve Noble
> Sent: Monday, December 11, 2000 5:27 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: How are the blind and deaf helped who speak a language
> other than English?
> There may be a few sides to this question:
> 1) Most all countries have a national library which supplies braille
> and other accessible media in their native languages. For a far from
> complete yet lengthy list see this link from the DAISY Consortium:
> 2) From an U.S. legal perspective, there is no federal statutory
> requirement to provide language accommodation in the provision of
> services to non-English speakers, regardless of whether or not they
> have a sensory disability. I cannot speak to the existence of possible
> state laws requiring such an accommodation. Language accommodation is
> separate and apart from the context of the accessible program
> requirements of Section 504 and the ADA. There may however be isolated
> policies in some states or other non-federal political entities which
> do require this. Perhaps other list members are better informed on
> this point than me.
> 3) On the question of obtaining accessible content, here are some
> --if the individual is a citizen of another country, they can likely
> receive services from their native national library even while living
> in the USA;
> --some access organizations within the USA supply non-English texts,
> although the number of available works to choose from may be rather
> small. Try the RFB&D or APH online catalogs;
> --many older "classic" texts in languages other than English can be
> found on the net in electronic form. Unfortunately, Project Gutenberg
> only has a few non-English books. I noticed only 8 in Spanish and only
> 12 in French. I did not take the time to do a good search for some
> better sites, but here are a few:
> I don't know if this any of this actually answered your question. If
> you have any more specific questions, I would be glad to lend a hand.
> Steve Noble
> Policy Analyst
> Kentucky Assistive Technology Service Network
> Co-Listowner, AXSLIB-L, Access to Libraries Listserv
> [log in to unmask]
> --- michael krieg <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > I am a library science student and was wondering how non-English
> > speakers who are blind or deaf are helped at libraries for the
> > disabled?
> > What Braille, audio or special materials are available in other
> > languages?
> > Thank you.
> > Sincerely,
> > Michael Krieg
> > Get more from the Web. FREE MSN Explorer download :