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Published: May 19, 2022
Expanding Digital Inclusion and Accessibility

Side view of captivated multiethnic young people smiling and looking at screen while browsing computer with headphones and sitting at desk in modern library

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”14772″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Just in time for Global Accessibility Awareness Day , The Independence Center (The IC) and Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) have partnered to improve digital accessibility for people with disabilities. These upcoming improvements, made possible in part by a $25,000 grant from The Independence Center’s IC Fund, will help PPLD expand accessibility via their Library spaces, resources, and services.

The goal of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) is to shine a light on the need for digital access and inclusion for the one billion people worldwide living with a disability, according to its website. Digital accessibility can take the form of alt text on images for people who are blind, captioning for Deaf individuals, or simple, easy-to-understand navigation for those with cognitive disabilities.

“Individuals with disabilities deserve the same access to web-based services, content, and even gaming as someone without a disability,” said Deb Walker, director of strategic partnerships for The IC. “PPLD is such an important resource for people of all ages and abilities. The IC is proud to support them in their efforts to ensure their vision of being fully inclusive and accessible is realized.”

At PPLD, the accessibility improvements will include accessible game controllers and adaptive games kits, software updates to assistive technology computers, and more at select locations. For example, at Library 21c and other libraries in the northern part of El Paso County, a new FM system will help people hear better in noisy listening situations. It is typically used in conjunction with hearing aids but can also be used by those without. This will make a difference to students from the Colorado Springs School for the Deaf and Blind when touring the Library or using its makerspaces and studios.

“We’re grateful for the funding support from The Independence Center that will soon help us improve accessibility at multiple Library facilities in our service area,” said Teona Shainidze-Krebs, interim CEO and chief librarian for PPLD. “It’s important for our Library spaces, resources, and services to be welcoming and inclusive for all in the community.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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