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Universal Design

Let’s see, this week was about assistive technology and universal design. Generally, I think libraries could do a much better job with this. I don’t think that assistive services are integrated enough to qualify as “universal design” in most libraries. For instance, if the elevator’s there, but you’ve got to hunt it down, while the stairs are right by the front entrance, that doesn’t seem very “universal” to me. If you have to ask the librarian for the screen magnifier that she pulls out of her desk, instead of just swinging it around from the side of any computer monitor like a sun visor on a car windshield, again, I wouldn’t call it universal design. I can’t recall ever being in a library that I would say employs these principles. I think it’s one of those ideal buzz words or catch phrases that everyone would love to promote, but few organizations rarely obtain.

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