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Including the excluded: the provision of assistive technology devices for students with visual impairment by university libraries

Author: 
Olalekan Abiola Awujoola and Vitoria Olubola Fadeyi
Subject Area: 
Physical Sciences and Engineering
Abstract: 

This paper x-rays the importance of assistive technology devices (ATDs) in university library for the teaching and learning of students with visual impairments. The introduction of technology has benefited the sighted however not leaving out students with visual impairments. Lack of vision significantly affects learning and it must be stressed that the education goals for students with visual impairments are essentially the same as those for all the students, therefore, the need to provide means of ensuring easy and convenient means for students with visual impairment to learn by the university libraries. The availability of Braille materials in the university library only ensures a system of reading and writing by touch for students with visual impairments but do not additional teaching and learning opportunities for students with visual impairments. However, the demand of this information age in ensuring that students with visual impairments live up to education expectation as the sighted students has led to the imperativeness of assistive technology devices (ATDs) in the collections of the university library. Academic progression of students with visual impairments who opted for university education cannot be fully realized without adequate equipment and professionals. Assistive technology devices facilitate the learning of subjects and basic skills needed for a meaningful living of students with visual impairments. The study recommended that efforts should be made by the university library to ensure proper integration of Braille and ATDs in their collection for the teaching and learning of students with visual impairment. Also, managements of universities, parents and stakeholders must ensure that these ATDs are made available in schools for students with visual impairments.

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