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The New York Public Library strives for total accessibility, no matter what our differences may be. Join us as we move down the path toward that goal.

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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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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The Job Market for People with Disabilities: A Personal Journey

The Job Market for People with Disabilities is a personal journey of Steve McEvoy who was born with mild to moderate cerebral palsy and non-verbal learning disability. In the beginning of this article he mentioned four hallmarks that hold the best chance of improving the discouraging unemployment rate that people with disabilities face. Here is his Personal Journey:

The unemployment rate of people with disabilities has far outpaced that of people without disabilities. In order for people with disabilities to transition to employment, they need an awareness of how 

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PTSD Awareness Month: Remembering the Disabilities We Can't Always See

June is PTSD Awareness Month, which aims to raise awareness of PTSD and its effective treatments so that everyone can help those affected. PTSD is an anxiety condition that can develop in response to exposure to an extreme traumatic event such as military combat, violent personal assaults, terrorist attacks, disasters or accidents. And while PTSD is not unique to veterans and military service members, it is often characterized as one of the "invisible wounds of war" and a "signature 

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Seeing with the Senses Art Exhibition

Come see and even touch this new art exhibition, created by adult students from the Metropolitan Museum, drawing class called "Seeing Through Drawing."

The students all have low vision or are blind, and created many of the works while listening to verbal descriptions of major works of art. There are works in pastel, collage, tape drawing, paint, wicky stick, sand, hi marker, and printmaking. The exhibition is part of the program that took place at the Andrew Heiskell Library on Saturday, June 

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Memorial Day: Commemorating and Remembering Our Veterans and Those Who Serve

May 27th is Memorial Day. Did you know that this U.S. federal holiday goes as far back as the American Civil War in the 1860s?

Memorial Day, formerly known as Decoration Day, occurs ever year on the last Monday of the month of May and is the day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

For the past two centuries, the U.S. has been involved in many wars domestically and aboard. Many service men and women have put aside their jobs, families and lives to defend our country and principals of freedom during 

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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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ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival

New York Public Library is once again proud to partner with ReelAbilities, offering opportunities to see recent, high-quality films promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with differing abilities.

If you search for disability-themed film festivals, you can easily find several throughout the United States and the world. Each has its unique personality and 

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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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Everyone Achieves at NYPL

Justin, a 14-year-old with special needs, sits at a computer in the Huguenot Park Library, in Staten Island, and ponders a comprehension quiz about an article he’s just read. The multiple-choice question asks him to fill in the blank: “A packet is a kind of ____.” His choices: Bag, zone, plant, or map. Justin answers incorrectly on his first attempt, so he thinks long and hard before finally settling on “Bag,” then submits his answer. “Fantastic!” says a pop-up message on the screen. “Fantastic!” echo Justin and his teaching aide, who 

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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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