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Nov 14: meeting with Commission on Disabilities


Commission for Persons with Disabilities

Minutes of Meeting, Thursday November 14, 1996

In attendance: Jennifer Ruddy, Michael Muehe, Paul J. Schlaver, Jane C. Carroll, Moe Armstrong, Samuel Berk, Diana Cormican, Bob Patterson,

with Karen Carmean, Ted Burton, and John Gintell of Library 21

To provide access to all the people of Cambridge and to insure that we manage our resources well, Library 21 is gathering information from as many groups as possible about what the people want.

What would you like in the library?

A. Community Activity Center

  • Celebrate diversity
  • Have display and program celebrating diversity and disability
  • Lecture series should be at the branches
  • Meeting places with total accessibility are needed in Cambridge in all neighborhoods
  • Boston Public Library has a number of meeting rooms on the main floor and an auditorium
  • Disability themes- one week a year

B. Community Information Center

  • We need space dedicated to community information
  • Explore; www. newmobility.com
  • New energy to do more publicity and awareness training
  • Late onset of disability means that we should be trained not to be scared of disability.
  • Children should go to Childrenís Museum to explore using wheel chair, etc. so that they are not scared of the wheel chairs and the disabled
  • Children should learn to adapt to other ways of being, of diversity
  • Community information
  • Know about others
  • Physical display of information
  • Network with others
  • Internet and chat rooms
  • Harvest Co-op has huge bulletin board for community information
  • We need a room to display community information- perhaps a rotunda that would include computer information
  • Need a better display of community information

C. Formal Education Support Center

  • Children education programs. Example: in North Carolina children must vote so they are educated on this part of education
  • Children should also be required to be educated about the library
  • Children should be excited and helped to explore more

D. Independent Learning Center

  • Programming assistance for help with programming own home page
  • Computer skill training
  • Word processing access and training
  • Disability education for city employees and residents
  • Tutors to help with understanding information

E. Popular Materials Lending Library

  • Internet access
  • Ken Bowles (sp?) concerned that the internet at library is not accessible to visually impaired, speech output necessary for internet access
  • Text version- not just visual/graphical for visually impaired
  • Environmental concerns- there are extra-sensitive people so need to be off scale for excellent ventilation. Do not use perfumes in soaps and cleaning supplies so all can use the facility- See John Winske( ref. M. Muehe)
  • City homepage must be all available with text only so visually impaired can translate the information on the page
  • Train MIS staff to make city internet pages all text only available
  • Card catalog needs to have multiple output and input strategies to allow access to people with different abilities
  • Kiosks for information must also have multiple output and input options- perhaps print-outs and large print options
  • We hope there will still be some books on shelves
  • No matter how the shelves are designed, it will still be necessary to have some staff to help some people have access to the books and resources
  • Staff must be educated
  • Selection of periodicals must include periodicals of interest to those who are disabled.
  • Disability consciousness in the purchase of materials
  • Readers in the library to help with access of materials
  • Volunteers in the library to help:
  • Audio-taping of books
  • Reading of things on line
  • Voice output systems with a scanner. M.A.T.P. at Childrenís Hospital
  • Machine for increasing size of print
  • Videos on disability issues-
  • For Deaf Son
  • Twitch and Shout
  • Send videos to disabled and mail back to library
  • Programs could rotate around the branches
  • Materials could possibly be rotated
  • Delivery service for library to disabled

F. Preschoolers Door to Learning

G. Reference Library

  • Psychiatric groups need access to non-medical points of view and periodicals
  • Network with other libraries, groups, and associations to increase resources
  • Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Boston University- see Cathy Norman at Sargent College
  • Perkins Institute in Watertown- explore and consider exchanging resources
  • Network from special service libraries
  • Help with beginning to research on issues
  • I want to have access to everything- I just get there a different way
  • Issues for disabled are similar to those who experience racism
  • Information and knowledge keeps me stable- need my own separate place
  • Diversity wing needed

H. Research Center

  • Have an annex for disabled with access to what is available to the disabled

I. Other- important functions missing from list

  • Allow maximum space for turnaround in bathrooms, not minimum, because the library is such an important public building
  • More networking between library and other city departments
  • Access- parking, public transportation
  • Main library is definitely not optimum for access and public transportation.
  • Central square would be better for access to T
  • Noisy places can be difficult for some
  • Main not convenient- busses donít run from Central Square
  • must be near the T
  • Taxi vouchers might be made available to have access to the library
  • Light- important to use of building
  • User friendly lights
  • Places to sit
  • Atrium, glass area available for winter especially
  • Architecture style of current library is dark, massive, perhaps okay for 10th century
  • If you do research at the library for 8 or 10 hours there is no place to get a bite to eat
  • Some people like the Sommerville Library better because of its light and architectural style
  • Main library is gloomy
  • Main library reminds some of us of an old-fashioned asylum- high windows, very gloomy
  • Need childrenís playground right next to childrenís part of the library
  • Need full spectrum lighting
  • Need overhead lights
  • Light boxes needed for some to do work
  • Boston Public Library has well lit rooms above
  • With computers we need rooms with less light
  • Need multiple kinds of spaces and flexible spaces
  • Suggest revolving stacks- press button and the stack go around and you have access to more shelves. or use a lazy susan style design
  • Have reachers so you can grab things
  • Make Large print signs in stacks
  • Heidi Reed at Deaf, Inc. is a good person to contact for Deaf needs
  • Make 1î size numbers on inside of front cover of books on shelf if you canít put it on the outside of the books to help you know what number you are at and whether you are getting close to the right number
  • Train staff to help disabled
  • Fund appropriate staff

J. An Important Civic Building