Tag Archives: adaptive technology and services

Author and advocate for the hard of hearing Josh Swiller to present on Oct 16, 17

By Susan Hayya, coordinator, Adaptive Technology and Services

Adaptive Technology and Services will participate in one of the many “Divisibility” events celebrating October 2013 Disability Awareness Month. This year we are hosting Josh Swiller, author and advocate for the hard of hearing, for two events that are open to the public.

On October 16 in Foster Auditorium, 2:00 PM-3:30 PM, Swiller will participate in a panel discussion with faculty and staff who are experts on deaf culture and other issues concerning the deaf. The theme of the discussion is “What Is Big D and Small d Culture?” Also, on the panel is Swiller’s wife, Leah Murphy, who will soon be a clinical psychologist, and who for several years has led a $10 million research project on deaf education, which took her to over 30 deaf schools in 25 states. The audience for this panel discussion is students in Education, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Rehabilitation Counseling and Vocational Rehabilitation.

Swiller will also present in the Foster Auditorium, on October 17, from 7:00 PM-8:30 p.m. He will share his many experiences traveling to five different continents and his journey transitioning from being deaf to now hearing well by way of a cochlear implant. He will talk about the plight of the hundreds of millions of deaf and disabled around the world – how they are seen and not-seen in various cultures. He maps strategies for improving their situations, concentrating on day-to-day, here-and-now steps we can take to create a more accepting and compassionate world.

Both events are open to the public and are co-sponsored by the Libraries’ Adaptive Technology and Services office. Support for these events comes from the University Libraries, and from the University’s Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity’s Diversability Committee. Both events will have an interpreter for the deaf and a captionist.

Josh Swiller speaks during Disabilities Awareness Month

In recognition of October as Disabilities Awareness Month, Penn State University Libraries are hosting a panel discussion, “What is big “D” and small “d” deaf culture,” on Wednesday, October 16, 2–3 p.m., and a presentation by Josh Swiller, “A Memoir of Deafness,” on Thursday, October 17, 7–8:30 p.m., followed by a Q&A session. Both events are in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, and will be facilitated by interpreters, with captioning. The October 17 presentation will also be available at live.libraries.psu.edu

Swiller, deaf since the age of 4 and recently returned to hearing through a computer implanted in his skull, is the author of “The Unheard: a Memoir of Deafness and Africa,” a story about his growing up deaf and living for two years in a rural African village. A New York Times best seller, it has been optioned for a movie. He has been lauded for his compassion, humor and literary skill.

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Hayya designated proxy for students with disabilities

Susan Hayya, Penn State University Libraries’ coordinator for Adaptive Technology and Services and a long-time champion of services for individuals with disabilities, has been designated Penn State’s proxy for HathiTrust users with print disabilities. Through this program, eligible users at HathiTrust partner institutions will receive special access to in-copyright materials contained in HathiTrust, rather than having to physically search for the items through another library or store.

The HathiTrust is a cooperative shared digital repository using the Google Books project collections—now with upwards of 10 million books accessible online. It was developed at the University of Michigan, a member of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), the academic arm of the Big Ten Conference. For out-of-copyright books in the public domain, there is access to the full text of the book online through both Google Books and the Hathi Trust. Books still in copyright are not freely available online to the general public, but with the new proxy service, they will be accessible to individuals with disabilities. HathiTrust is in the process of naming proxies for more than 80 universities to use this service.

For more information about the program, see: http://www.hathitrust.org/accessibility

For more information about the services at Penn State, contact Susan Hayya at shh2@psu.edu or 814-865-0284.

Rachel Simon’s powerful writing challenges preconceptions

Film Screening: “Riding the Bus with My Sister,” April 9, Foster Aud., 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Rachel Simon presentation: “Perspectives on Intellectual Disabilities,” April 11, Katz Auditorium, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

By Susan Hayya, coordinator, Adaptive Technology and Services

Every time I see “Riding the Bus with My Sister,” based on Rachel Simon’s award-winning book of the same title, I am always reminded to never make presumptions about people. Much of what goes on in the movie is about how people tend to presume things about each other. For example, some characters in the movie presume that, because of Beth’s disability, she has no feelings or talents. This is, of course, not true. Continue reading

Author Rachel Simon to share her perspectives on intellectual disabilities at presentation

Rachel Simon, award winning author of “Riding the Bus with My Sister” and “The Story of Beautiful Girl,” will give a presentation titled “Perspectives on Intellectual Disabilities,” on Thursday, April 11 11, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., in the Katz Auditorium in the Law School. Simon will talk about her life experiences growing up with her sister Beth, who has an intellectual disability. Their relationship formed the basis for “Riding the Bus with My Sister,” which was made into a film starring Andie MacDowell and Rosie O’Donnell. The film will be shown on Tuesday, April 9, 4:30–6:30 p.m., in the Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library.

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