Disability inclusion has become a more serious agenda for most organizations around the world which is a positive step to be lauded.
The most exciting area which is bringing about real change is technology, here, persons with disabilities are getting a real chance to unlock their potential.
Punggol Regional Library in Singapore opened its first two floors to the public on Monday with features which will cater for persons with disabilities.
The new library has a do-it-yourself tinkering area for children with disabilities and calm pods and wheelchair-accessible book-borrowing stations for adults with disabilities.
Below is a clear explanation of the features;
Accessible Collection: A selection of 3,000 English books for children and adults with disabilities, their caregivers, and communities. These include Braille books with text for those with visual disabilities.
Calm Pods: A waiting area with sensory aids and a beanbag, and a more private space with padded walls and flooring.
Borrow-N-Go, wheelchair-accessible book borrowing stations: A dedicated passageway for wheelchair users to borrow books. The borrowing stations come with wheelchair-accessible tables, along with increased font size and colour contrast on the interface for wheelchair users and persons with partial vision loss, including seniors.
Assistive technology: Catalogue stations are equipped with assistive technology devices such as joy sticks, trackballs, large key keyboards and high contrast keyboards.
NLB said that these features are part of its ongoing efforts to make its libraries and archives accessible to everyone. The features were developed with input from the community and will be fine-tuned over time with further feedback.
Children with disabilities on the other hand will enjoy several features which include;
Spark! Lab: A tinkering space that children will use in creating items that fly through a wind tunnel. They are free to go at their own pace, guided by questions for each activity. This is targeted at children aged seven to 12 years.
Storyteller Cove: Children can learn more about the history, culture, and customs of different countries through interactive experiences on physical and digital platforms.
These include decorated physical structures and animations, do-it-yourself activity kits, guided story crafting, prop-making, and illustrations from children’s picture books on digital displays.
Stories Come Alive: A room with moving images and text, as well as light and sound effects, for children aged four to 10 years to experience storytelling in an immersive and interactive manner.
Toy Library: NLB’s first dedicated toy library comes stocked with toys, educational aids, puppets and costumes to cater to different types of play — creative, dramatic or sensory.