Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

Blog Posts by Subject: Disabilities and Accessibility

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). 

... Read More ›

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 

... Read More ›

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 

... Read More ›

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

... Read More ›

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 

... Read More ›

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 

... Read More ›

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. 

... Read More ›

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 

... Read More ›

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 

... Read More ›

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 

... Read More ›

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 

... Read More ›

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

... Read More ›

Dyslexic Librarian: Library Resources for the Learning Disabled

I have been a librarian for about twelve years and have worked in many libraries for much longer. I am also dyslexic which I have been since I have known the meaning of that word's existence. Weird you say but it's the truth.

Dyslexia is a learning disability, which, for me effects my writing and reading abilities. I don't write letters backwards but I spell words with the letters switched around. I would refer to it as abstract spelling or surrealist writing. Actually it effects my writing skills much more than my reading skills. If it wasn't for Microsoft Word and 

... Read More ›

ReelAbilities Rules! The Disabilities Film Festival in New York City

If you haven't experienced, or perhaps even heard about, ReelAbilities, this may be the year to discover this unique festival, which is a film festival, but also so much more.

Anita Altman of the UJA-Federation, who founded the festival in New York City in 2007, states its goal is to raise consciousness "about our common humanity and the value of each person, without regard to his or her ability or disability." This is the fourth New York 

... Read More ›

Andrew Heiskell Library's Best of Fall Links

The year has flown past and the brink of a new year is a good time to look back. We hope everyone has a great holiday, whatever you celebrate, and a wonderful new year. Here are the things that caught our attention this fall:

Stuck on the holds list for one of our digital bibles? Audio Bibles for the Blind is now offering a free digital version of the Bible for your digital talking book machine. It works like this: you send them a blank digital cartridge, they load it up with the Bible and mail it back to you. More details are available on the 

... Read More ›

CART, or Real-Time Captioning, at the NYPL

Perhaps you have heard of real-time captioning, or CART (Communication Access Realtime Transcription), as it is often called. This is the provision of captions to accompany a presentation or performance in real time. The captions are generally projected onto a screen, where some or all of the audience can read them. CART can potentially enhance experience for several groups of people:

those who became deaf after becoming proficient in English (or another language), i.e., the post-lingually deaf; those with mild to moderate hearing loss, who want to follow along with what ... Read More ›

World Sight Day at NYPL

Lions International, working with other organizations that fight blindness, commemorated the first World Sight Day in 1998. Since then, it has been observed throughout the world on the second Thursday of each year; the World Health Organization and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness are the chief coordinating agencies at present. Communities and organizations have initiated activities to support the main 

... Read More ›

Andrew Heiskell Library's Links We Loved in September

The following links caught our attention this past month. Plus, we've got a couple of announcements about new services.

Haptic Device Gives Blind a Helping Hand. Promising new technology to help people without sight to navigate.

Improved Accessibility for Google Calendars.

Dolly Parton's Imagination 

... Read More ›

My Library: Sharon

I had heard a bit about Sharon Anyimi; but I didn't know much. I knew she visited Baychester Library in Co-Op City — a lot — and was always reading books with the help of the Closed-Captioned Television system (CCTV), also known as the video magnifier, located in the Library. I knew she was a "people person" with a friendly word for all. I decided to wend my way to the northeast Bronx and meet this intriguing library user for 

... Read More ›

Andrew Heiskell Library's Best of Summer Links

We can't believe the summer is nearly over. Aside from the distractions of a minor earthquake and a hurricane (though Irene had been downgraded to a tropical storm by the time she hit New York City), we served up a number of links on our Facebook and Twitter pages that you might find interesting.

The New York City Mayor's Office is hosting a free exhibition Beep Baseball game between the L.I. Bombers and WFAN 660 sports radio on Saturday, September 24 at 3:30 p.m. at 

... Read More ›
Previous Page 2 of 4 Next

Chat with a librarian now