Forbes Library Disability Advisory Board

Fri May 3 2019. 3:00 PM.

Present: Lisa Downing, Benjamin Kalish, MaryJo Stanley, Joel Dansky.

  1. Announcements
    1. New library hours (Lisa): Forbes library is now open eight more hours each week. We are now open from 10 to 6 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, three hours earlier and one hour later than before.
    2. Update on facilities projects (Lisa): We have a quote to replace the brick patio in front of the main doors with cement and hope that will happen soon. We are also planning to apply for CDBG funds to make our first floor bathrooms accessible by adding automatic openers to the inside and outside of the doors and removing a lip at the threshold.
    3. Thank you and congratulations for the success of our Going Blind events (Ben): Thank you to everyone who made these events such a success, especially to Barbara Black who was so generous with her time and to Carolyn Oppenheim who made sure this film was included in the resistance film series.
    4. Update on Accessibility Focus attendance (Ben): Out attendance at Accessibility Focus events is way up since we began increase our publicity efforts. Thank you, and please continue to spread the word.
    5. Staff Accessibility Committee (Ben): We now have a small committee of interested staff meeting to talk about how to make the library more accessible. This committee complements the work being done by the advisory board and can focus on the implementation details of issues raised by the board.
    6. All staff meeting (Lisa): Some staff met to discuss accessibility and came up with some very useful suggestions. One of the topics was how to improve awareness and utilization of the assisted listening systems that are available.
  2. New additions to Accessibility Focus series (Ben): with the success of the film screening of Going Blind we are contemplating what other types of events we might include the Accessibility Focus series. The bulk of the series will remain classes, but we can mix in book discussions, forums, lectures, films, etc. Ideas already suggested include a forum on hearing loss and a screening of Lives Worth Living a documentary about the fight for disability rights leading up to the passage of ADA. Please be in touch with any suggestions!
  3. Assistive Technology Fair (Lisa): The Senior Center has agreed to partner with us and we are planning on a Saturday in early November. The fair will be held at Bridge Street School and we have secured some funds from the Friends of Forbes in memory of Jerry Budgar. Once the date is finalized we need to begin brainstorming a list of people to invite as well as a plan to publicize the event broadly. Joel suggested we may want to invite the Institute for Human Centered Design, https://www.humancentereddesign.org/.
  4. Cooley Dickinson’s Community Benefit Advisory Council (Lisa): The hospital has convened a group to discuss community health concerns and present suggestions for ways the hospital can help solve them. Lisa will make this committee aware of when the next meeting is in case anyone wants to attend or ask Lisa to bring forward topics.
  5. Discussion of audio induction loop systems (MaryJo): Led by MaryJo, we discussed the differences between different technologies used for assistive listening systems, and where and why different systems are deployed in different places. We discussed both the importance of such systems, noting that too often they are not available or, if available, under used.
  6. App demonstration: Live CC (MaryJo): MaryJo showed us how apps like Live CC (search the app store for LiveCC to find it) or Live Caption can transcribe speech in real time. We found it worked better with some voices than others, but agreed it was a useful tool.
  7. Discussion, brainstorming, etc.: There was no additional discussion.