This webinar, held on Sept. 19, 2007, explored how libraries can provide reference services to all users, including those using screen readers or other assistive technologies, with a focus on QuestionPoint's new lightweight patron chat ("Chat 2").
The program began with Catherine Durivage, Library Program Director of the Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library, providing a general overview of the InfoEyes project, a virtual reference service for the visually impaired. Catherine was followed by Joe Thompson (Project Coordinator) and Julie Strange (Operations Supervisor) of Maryland AskUsNow! Joe provided an overview of the long search in Maryland for a truly accessible service. He reported that QuestionPoint's "Chat 2", released in June 2007, will likely enable Maryland to reach that goal. Julie showed screen shots of the patron interface and talked about Maryland's plans for implementing Chat 2 statewide. Our final speaker was Heather Muller, former coordinator of Washington's statewide virtual reference service. Heather provided feedback from visually impaired patrons who have used Chat 2 with screen readers, and she brought the session to a close with an inspiring message on equity of access for all users.
If you were unable to attend the webinar, or if you would like to listen to it again, you can access the recording here:
- Enter "Your Name"
- Enter Recording ID: BARRIERS (NOTE: The login is case sensitive and spacing must be exact.)
- Click "View Recording"
- You will then be prompted to enter your email address and library name
- Click View recording again, and select Microsoft Office Live Meeting Replay as the replay format.
- This recording is available in the LiveMeeting archive for 30-days after the broadcast.
- Tips: be sure you have a sound card, and set your screen resolution to 1024 x 768 for optimal viewing.
If you have questions for the speakers or have general comments on this topic, please feel free to post your comments to the blog. For more information about QuestionPoint, see http://www.oclc.org/questionpoint
Thanks for your participation in this discussion!
- Susan McGlamery, QuestionPoint