Serving Deaf Patrons

The DRM WebWatcher has an extensive section on deafness and hearing impairments. The following links deal specifically with serving deaf patrons in libraries.


Omer Zak and the members of DEAF-L offer tips for making libraries accessible and for serving deaf kids in Libraries and the Deaf.


A Library Trends article by Melanie Norton on Effective Bibliographic Instruction for Deaf and Hearing-Impaired College Students is reprinted in the EASI “Library Without Walls.”


Check out Gail Kovalik and Frank Kruppenbacher’s article on Libraries and the ADA: Providing Accessible Media to Deaf and Hard of Hearing People (MC Journal: The Journal of Academic Media Librarianship, Vol. 2 #1, Winter 1994).


Video communications technology in the United Kingdom is facilitating deaf people’s access to information at their local library, as well as to business resources for those who wish to set up their own companies. Read this press release.


The June 1996 issue of Link-Up has an interesting article entitled “The Helping Hands Project: Exploring Public Library Services for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired.”


The Trace Resource Center gopher site has several fact sheets from the U.S. Architectural and Transportation Compliance Board about equipment which you should have in your library, including Assistive Listening Systems and Visual Alarms to Alert Persons with Hearing Loss.


This fact sheet on Obligations of Theaters and Lecture Halls Under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 provides information about the ADA requirements for assistive listening systems and sign language interpreters under title III (public accommodations) of the ADA, which also applies to libraries that are not considered government entities.


Real time captioning is another good way to make library programs and meetings accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Check out The Caption Center’s Making Meetings Accessible to find out more.


Fujio Kobayashi, who has a hearing impairment, works in a public library in Japan; his interests are services to children and people with disabilities. If you visit his bilingual home page, you’ll discover that the difficulties deaf and hard of hearing people have in libraries are universal.


For examples of the kinds of specialized services public libraries can provide to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, check out the Seattle Public Library’s services for deaf, deaf-blind, and hard of hearing users and the Morris County Library’s deaf resource center.


If you want to visit the web pages of libraries in schools or universities for deaf students, try: