Sunday, November 14, 2010

Access Audit for Anna Centenary Library

Dear Ravi,
There are a few steps that have to be in place before the new Anna Centenery Library can be Audited.
First a proposal to Audit the Library must be mooted - it can come from both ends- either from an interested individual, an NGO or the people/Dept. that run the library. I can send a letter of intent. Better still, you can do it. The government takes you very seriously!!!.
Then the people who are involved in the decision making , and daily running of the library must be sensitised. We need to get ALL staff of the library together for at least a 30 min presentation followed by real life experiance sharing by at least 3 persons with special needs. One or two person who are visually challenged and a persons with a locomotor disability ( preferably in a wheelchair). They have to share with the Library staff on what their experiences are and what their expectations are.
Then the entire Library Staff has to be divided into 3 or 4 groups and each group is lead by one person with a special need. Each group is given a check list which they will administer as they go around the entire library complex. They will start from the entrance, the bus stop near the entrance, the parking lot, the entrance to the building, the reception, the books area, the reading area, the audio-section if available, the computers browsing section, the toilets, the canteen( if available), the conference facilities if available, the displays, the sign boards, the announcements, the shelves etc.
The group will assemble back and give their feedback. The leader of the team will make a complete report with specific recommendations.
The key in the entire exercise is involving the Library Personnel in the process.
Similarly, other public buildings can be audited. Will be very pleased if you can help facilitate this process. Obviously libraries are very important to bridge the knowledge gap and the empowerment and full participation of people with special needs will happen only when libraries welcome them and are suited for their full use.
best regards,
Dr Aiswarya Rao

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