DESIGNING LIBRARY SERVICES AND FACILITIES FOR THE DISABLED USERS

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DESIGNING LIBRARY SERVICES AND FACILITIES FOR THE DISABLED USERS INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background of the study Malaysia is now giving serious attention to education and training in meeting the demand for human capital. The human capital that is knowledgeable, skillful, well disciplined and possess the strength of mind is vital in achieving vision 2020, failing which the overarching vision could severely be impaired .One of the ways of boosting the human capital is by heightening the number of people with tertiary education. Unfortunately, there are disabled people who are still denied equal education due to inadequate facilities that cater for special needs. We must not forget that at the tertiary level of education, the disabled or handicapped has no choice but are required to join the mainstream university and colleges. Therefore, it is imperative for all parties within the academic institution such as the library, disbursing office, the registrar’s office, academic affairs and student affairs units, and other related units to understand the needs of the disabled users, by making available services, facilities and relevant policies that could help ease their problems. They too need comfort, safety and accessible information resources for them to be able to carry out their educational mission and be part of the society that could contribute to achieving vision 2020. The disabled could contribute to the achievement of vision 2020 if their welfare is not neglected. 1.2 Statement of the problem After 52 years of independence, The Persons with Disabilities Act 2008 or Act 685 came into force in July 2008. This is an important milestone in the direction of ensuring equal opportunities for the disabled people. It s... ... middle of paper ... ...es and facilities for other categories have been impartially considered by them. Upon verification of the information provided on the websites of most local academic libraries, it is discovered that these libraries are yet to meet the needs of the disabled users. The discouraging number of disabled users as well as the exorbitant price of the high technological equipment should not be the factor that delays the awareness and readiness in the country. Someone from these libraries should champion this issue, or PERPUN as an association in the field should take steps in urging these libraries to provide equal opportunities to the different categories of academic library users who are now becoming more heterogeneous. This study would help to bring the issue to the front, where findings will be published and brought to the attention of the responsible sectors.

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