Assessment Of The Accessibility Of Library Resources For Visually Challenged Persons In Enugu State

Project and Seminar Material for Library and Information Science

Assessment Of The Accessibility Of Library Resources For Visually Challenged Persons In Enugu State


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

Many people with visual impairment have pursued higher education, found success in their professions, and become active members of their communities. This could be attributed to a number of factors, including technological advancements, regulations, and changing attitudes toward disabled people.The degree of access to information among people with impairments is influenced by technology. In addition, university library websites may be able to offer essential assistance to library customers, especially those with visual impairments. Some university library websites, however, lack appropriate information or services for individuals with visual impairment. Many people with visual impairments have been denied access to electronic resources in this instance. Several studies have shown that the fast development of information technology has marginalized numerous groups, including those characterized by age, socioeconomic position, literacy, language, culture, location, and disability, confirming this scenario (Jaeger et al., 2011; Lazar & Jaeger, 2011; and Yoon et al. 2016). Persons with visual impairment are marginalized in university libraries in Nigeria, according to a careful study of various types of users. Information resources in university libraries are intended to serve a general audience. Insufficient budgets, poor information and telecommunication infrastructure, limited access to the high-speed internet, low take-off of open access repositories and digital libraries, and non-availability of adaptive technology and specialized software packages have all been linked to the marginalization of people with visual impairment in university libraries, according to studies (Adetoro, 2011; Lucky and Achebe, 2013; Zaid, 2017). It’s also worth noting that marginalization is a result of certain societal beliefs that visually impaired people are incapable of doing any intellectual tasks. The obstacles that people with visual impairment face in their attempts to access electronic materials are a typical illustration of marginalization in university libraries. According to recent research, most library websites are not really welcoming and accessible for people with different impairments since web developers have failed to properly consider their information requirements when designing websites and other Internet-based information services (Lazar & Jaeger, 2011; Lewis, 2013; Southwell & Slater, 2012; Yoon, Dols, Hulscher & Newberry, 2016). It’s worth noting that ensuring equal access to materials in whatever format is essential to fostering an inclusive atmosphere in university libraries. As library materials migrate to online platforms, librarians must confront the aforementioned issue more forcefully or risk failing in their goal of offering equitable access to information to all library users, including those with visual impairments.


1.2 Statement Of The Problem

One of the powerful skills required by blind and visually impaired people to succeed in knowing when there is a need for information, locating the needed information, sifting the information and ethically using the information.

Many researchers have emphasized the importance of information in this information and technological age and organizations. For instance, the European Commission (EC, 2000), in its draft memorandum on lifelong learning, noted that ‘learning how to learn, to adapt, to change and to make sense of vast information flows are now generic skills that everyone should acquire’, and that these skills are the key to strengthening Nigeria’s competitiveness and improving the employability and adaptability of the workforce. This statement emphasizes the importance of providing adequate library access to blind and visually impaired students, who make up a significant number of students in South East institutions of higher learning, in order to improve their learning standards, employability, and competitiveness in a global economy. A lack of assistance for the blind and visually impaired will exacerbate the problem of isolation and dejection that appears to be associated with them in Nigeria. Adequate information will enable them to perform in the key roles of learning, scholarship and research. This will help in the creation of an information society which ultimately leads to national development. It will appear from the literature that the adequacy or otherwise of the library access of people with Sensory Impairment to carry out the role of studentship effectively and efficiently has hardly been subjected to as much rigorous research as examining the skills of students without any form of sensory impairment. It also appears that library access for students with sensory impairment in higher education institutions is limited. An empirical study of learning in Nigeria has hardly ever been conducted. This knowledge gap provided the motivation to carry out this study.


1.3 Objective Of The Study

  1. Find out how frequently people in Enugu state who are blind or visually impaired use the library.
  2. Identify the difficulties that blind and visually impaired students experience while assessing library resources.
  3. To find suggestions for improving library assessment by blind and visually impaired people in Enugu state.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. How frequently do people in Enugu state who are blind or visually impaired use the library?
  2. What are the difficulties that blind and visually impaired students experience while assessing library resources?
  3. What are the practical suggestions for improving library assessment by the blind and visually impaired people of Enugu state?

1.5 Significance Of The Study

Research’s significance, Several additional specific problems, as mentioned in this research, may help in determining the gap between policy and actual library accessibility in Enugu state. In light of this, the new study has the potential to not only broaden special education research in terms of teaching and learning, but also to provide researchers with comprehensive information on the unique challenges that visually impaired students have while evaluating libraries. The results of the research may have far-reaching consequences for teachers, parents, politicians, and large-scale project managers. Teachers, parents, politicians, and large-scale project managers may benefit from this research by knowing about visually impaired people’s unique learning methods.


1.6 Scope Of The Study

The study of the accessibility of library resources for visually impaired people in Enugu State was limited to the national library in Enugu, Enugu state, Nigeria.


1.7 Limitation Of Study

Since the questionnaire was given only by the researcher, it is not a standardized tool. It may have an effect on the study’s results. The findings will be strictly generalized since no random sampling will be used.


1.8 Definition Of Terms

Accessibility:

The quality of being able to be reached or entered.

Library Resources:

Library resources are those materials, both print and non-print, found in school libraries which support curricular and personal information needs. Print items include books, magazines, newspapers, pamphlets, microfiche or microfilm.

Visually Challenged:

Having greatly reduced vision. dim-sighted, near-blind, purblind, sand-blind, visually impaired.


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