Lauren Tappan has been working on a project to donate a Sara/ Reading Machine to our Chapel Hill Public Library. She has a grant application for funding and has already heard from two vendors that they are willing to sell us a re-furbished Sara at a discounted price. The Friends of the Library has been supportive but we have not officially heard from the Director of the Library. Lauren had a recent conversation with the Library Director in which the Director said they would like to accept the Sara and are now looking for a space to place it. The wait continues.
Meantime, Lauren has also contacted the Carrboro branch of the Orange County Library and has beginning conversations with our local University Library as another possible donation site for this AT reading machine. We will probably know by the end of May whether the funding will be available to purchase this equipment.
Lauren is also waiting to hear from the Library staff as to whether they are interested in a demonstration of this product. Jerry Mansell from Duke Eye Center as well as two vendors have agreed to demonstrate the Sara whenever the Library staff is willing.
Carol Woods, which is a a local Retirement Community, has a reading machine for their residents but their reading machine only increases the size of the text, it does not read to them. It is also rather complicated to use and the residents give up trying to use it. I am hoping that the Sara will be a new and useful reading solution for people with poor vision.
One of the issues with AT donation to our local library is that they decided to put Zoom Text and Jaws on their computers. They then say that it is rarely used and therefore why get additional equipment. I would have made other suggestions for AT equipment to the library. It is my hope that there will eventually be some type of AT consumer group that can advise organizations when they are considering purchasing AT equipment. I think that if the user group is consulted then the piece of AT equipment would be generally used more frequently.
Thanks for listening.