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Blog Posts by Subject: Disabilities and Accessibility

Design for a Lifetime, or: "What Do We Do About the Bathtub?"

Would you consider New York City "age-friendly"? That is, is it a place where people of all ages—including the very old—can feel comfortable, safe, and happy?

One million people aged 65 and over call New York City home, and a half-million more are expected to swell those ranks by 2030. New York City's top-notch public transportation system and rich access to cultural institutions contribute toward making it a place where these folk will want to stay; most are not planning to leave for southerly climes anytime soon, if ever.

 

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My Library: The Incredible Resources of the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library

A few years ago, after I was diagnosed at age 47 with Stargardt disease (juvenile macular degeneration), I discovered that it was becoming increasingly difficult for me to read print. Things which I had always taken for granted such as visually scanning the headlines of a newspaper, reviewing my written financial statements and checking out the onscreen guide on my television set all caused my eyes to strain almost immediately. I could still see the print, but not without considerable discomfort. How would I be able to manage 

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Diverse Perspectives: People with Disabilities Fulfilling Your Business Goals

The following article provides invaluable information on the inclusion of people with disabilities in the workforce and in the marketplace. It is a publication of the United States Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy.

By fostering a culture of diversity, or a capacity to appreciate and value individual differences, in all aspects of their operations, employers benefit from varied perspectives on how to confront business challenges and achieve 

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August Author @ the Library Programs at Mid-Manhattan

What is it like to be a convicted murderer just released from prison? What company was the Apple of the 1960s and 70s? Can you forage for edible plants in New York City? How much do you know about life in

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Art Exhibition Featuring Artists from AHRC NYC at Hudson Park

AHRC New York City's Adult Day Centers offer adults with disabilities a variety of services and opportunities. Using a person-centered approach, individualized and creative supports are offered to achieve meaningful goals based on the person's strengths and preferences. Providing individualized supports includes respect to personal choices and responsiveness to the person's unique needs.

Art consultant Catherine Rosamond wants the artists in the Betty Pendler New York 

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The Art of Drawing When One is Blind or Has Low Vision

With my hand, I touch the outside, or contour, of a small ceramic jug, a container for cream. I slowly trace the curve of the rim, continuing to the pointed lip. I put down the jug, and pick up a piece of charcoal or a soft pastel. I draw round curves, recreating what I see in my mind's eye, moving my hand across the paper, keeping pace with my inner vision.

"Jug and Green Glass," iPad drawing by Dana SimonI return to the small jug and begin again; tracing the contours of the round, squat body. But alas, when I try to return to the spot on the paper to begin 

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Sports for All: Find Out What Sport Is Right for You!

Here we are in the middle of spring; and I'm still embarrassingly waffling over which sport I should focus on in the beautiful weather. I've once again missed my opportunity to do cross-country skiing. Perhaps table tennis will be within reach for me this summer...

Though I myself am a bit indecisive, I love the idea of each of us finding at least one sport or other athletic activity that's fun and right for us, and participating on a regular basis.

To this end, several libraries have hosted 50+ Fitness Fairs in the past, in

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Between Two Worlds: Memoirs by Children of Deaf Adults

How do you celebrate Deaf History Month?Alice L. Hagemeyer, Photo by Ricardo Lopez

As a librarian, during this month I usually spend some time thinking admiring thoughts about Alice L. Hagemeyer, whose energy, spirit, and determination propelled service to the Deaf in libraries in Washington, D.C., where she worked for 34 years, and nationwide. Perhaps you would like to celebrate the month, which spans March 13-April 15 each year, by investigating some of the primary sources from the annals of Deaf history and 

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Art and Low Vision: The Sound of Monet’s Weeping Willow Series

Hear the audio version of this blog post. Narration: Kevin Gillins. Music performed by La Capella Reial de Catalunya; Le Concert des Nations; conductor: Jordi Savall.

I am looking at Monet's Weeping Willow series and want to describe these works to people who cannot see. I think music, with its sensual and dramatic language will most elegantly convey the power of these works.

In 1791, Mozart composed in Vienna parts of what is now known as the Requiem Mass in D Minor (K. 626). 

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For People with Disabilities: A Ticket to Work

According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, more than 13 million working-age people in the U.S. receive Social Security disability benefits; that's almost one in every 15 adults. Some may consider returning to work, but have important concerns regarding health care, cash benefits, job placement and job accommodations. The good news is that Social Security's Ticket to Work program that supports career development for people with disabilities is here to 

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Harnessing the Power of Music

Oliver Sacks once said in his book, Musicophilia:

"The power of music whether joyous or cathartic must steal on one unawares, come spontaneously as a blessing or a grace..."

Music has incredible power. People today listen to music all the time, walking down streets and sitting in subway cars. We can't escape music.

For many of us, certain songs have this mystical power of throwing us into the past to a certain time and place. It might be a wonderful memory or a memory we 

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Booktalking "The Story of My Life" by Helen Keller, edited by Roger Shattuck

At 19 months of age, Keller loses her sight and hearing. A girl spends five years in darkness and silence, yet she runs with strength and is healthy and vigorous. Frenetically, she reaches into everything, is fascinated by people, and is in constant gestural communication with her mother and family members. She remembers the layout of the house, so she is able to freely run through it. She loves being with her dogs and her pony, but she cannot grasp sophisticated meaning from her limited world until her teacher, 21 year old

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My Library: Janielle Fermaint

Janielle Fermaint at the Battery Park City LibraryI first met Janielle Fermaint a few weeks ago at a meeting in the Mid-Manhattan Library. She seemed like a person with lots of library experiences to share so I asked if we could meet for an interview. She agreed, and we spoke in the Battery Park City Library. Janielle is pictured to the left, on the appealing second floor of the branch which opened in 2010 as Manhattan's first library with green LEED certification.

How do you 

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Art and Low-Vision: MoMA Presents an Introduction to Modern Art

As part or our art and low-vision series we are excited to have The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) present a series of free lectures and art-making workshops at the Andrew Heiskell Library this winter. The content of this program series is based on free monthly touch and verbal description tours conducted at MOMA for adults who are blind or partially sighted. MoMA also conducts programs such as these for families. All programs will take place in the first floor 

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Drawing on the iPad: Washington Square Park (Video)

Washington Square Park, Manhattan, iPad drawing ©2012 Fotis Flevotomos on Vimeo.

On October 25, 2012, we posted "Drawing on the iPad," a brief introduction to digital drawing for people with or without vision loss. The present video is an example of the playback feature of the Brushes app.

But in reality it's a lot more than that. 

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Art and Low Vision: The Artist’s Eyes

In his very first email to me, Michael Marmor, professor and past chair of ophthalmology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, wrote: Your point that your view is original and valid on its own is important. I try to teach students that low vision or color “blindness” are not necessarily faulty vision... they are “different” vision. And may in some ways be better, or at least just as valid, depending on what you are trying to do. You have more of an “impressionist” view of a distant landscape than others with perfect vision — it's not 

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Art and Low-Vision: A List of Accessible Museums in New York City

Museums around New York City are offering visitors with low-vision or are blind the opportunity to experience and learn about great works of art. Through monthly verbal description and touch tours, visitors can enjoy a multisensory museum experience, to help compensate for some museums' "no touch" policy. Below is a select list of these tours. Advance appointments are usually required and be sure to call the museum to get updated information.

American Folk Art Museum 45 W. 53rd Street (between 5th 

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Art and Low-Vision: A Multi-Sensory Museum Experience

Why would someone with low vision choose to become an artist or feel passion about viewing and visiting great works of art in an art museum? As a senior librarian at the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library and an artist and painter with low vision, I have found that the act of painting provides me with a great way of getting in touch with my inner self, a way of creating a sense of "mindfulness" where one can be present in the moment and reduce the feeling of stress in one's life.

I recently discovered that I 

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Celebrating Art Beyond Sight: The Value of Creating and Appreciating Art for Those with Low Vision

photo courtesy of Art Beyond SightIn October, museums and other cultural organizations throughout the U.S. and the world celebrate the 10th annual Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month. The goal: "making pictorial literacy and access to the world of art a reality for all blind people."

Elisabeth Salzhauer Axel, photo courtesy of Art Beyond SightThe organization Art Education for the Blind was founded by museum educator 

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Special Education Libraries

My mother is a special education teacher, and I had the pleasure of giving presentations about public library services in some special education classrooms. Since gifted education used to be classified as special education, I was curious to see if I could find any libraries on that subject; I did not. I also wanted to know what topics special education libraries covered, and below are some that I found.

Special Education Libraries for these amore, see

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