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Indianapolis Public Library introduces accessible workstations

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indianapolis Public Library has launched a new initiative to make technology more accessible to all visitors, regardless of their abilities.  

The goal is to install these workstations throughout Indianapolis, Lawrence, and Beech Grove library locations, in addition to the ones that are already available at some of the libraries. These workstations come equipped with a variety of features, such as a height-adjustable desk, large-key and large-print keyboards, a trackball mouse with programmable buttons, and arm supports.

In addition, the software includes apps for text reading, live transcription, math, magnification, and screen reading for the visually impaired. The workstations can also read information to users and respond to voice commands, assisting them in completing tasks like writing a document or surfing the web.

According to Brain Norton, Director of Assistive Technology at Easter Seals Crossroads, the initiative is part of the library’s digital inclusion roadmap. “We’ve been learning all about what they do here, the services and materials they have, and ensuring that persons of all abilities when they come through the doors have access to those types of things.”

Naomi Allensworth, the library branch manager of East 38th Street, said these tools could make a big difference in the lives of those with learning disabilities or mobility limitations. “For our patrons here, they have a lot of accessibility needs. We’ve added a lot of things like the Job Center to help with some of the disparities that we face here. But we need equipment to handle it so we can just be.”

Accessible workstations are already available at some library locations, including Eagle, West Perry, East 38th Street, East Washington, and Garfield Park. Over the next few months, the library plans to install these workstations at all 24 library locations to ensure all visitors can access assistive technology.