The purpose of this paper is to determine the state-of-the-art assistive technologies (ATs) developed for people living with visual disability and those that are used in academic libraries around the world as a way of proffering solution to the challenges faced by visually impaired students in accessing information.
The data used for this paper were derived from website of companies that specialize in ATs for people living with disability and the library website of the top 14 universities in the world based on the 2020 QS world ranking of universities.
This study found that foremost academic libraries in the UK and the USA have integrated various ATs into library services as information access mechanism for students living with visual impairment. The study found that the most commonly used screen reader software is the Job Access With Speech (JAWS). The study also found that one of the institutions has a mission statement on their website, clearly stating support for people living with disability.
This study was conducted using only the 2020 QS world ranking of universities. It would be interesting to see results of academic libraries from Africa based on their ranking.
The paper provides highlights on trends that may inform academic libraries in the quest to providing ATs for students living with visual impairments. This paper may assist academics libraries who are at the brink of decision-making on use of ATs as information access mechanism to the visually impaired students.
This paper is the first to provide librarians with ideas and innovations on specific ATs used by leading academic libraries in the world.
Alabi, A. and Mutula, S. (2020), "Digital inclusion for visually impaired students through assistive technologies in academic libraries", Library Hi Tech News, Vol. 37 No. 2, pp. 14-17. https://doi.org/10.1108/LHTN-11-2019-0081Download as .RIS
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