I thought this posting from the Americna Library Association's Washington
office might be of interest.  
ALAWON: American Library Association Washington Office Newsline
Volume 8, Number 54
June 4, 1999

In this issue:
 NCLIS to Conduct Hearing on Library and Information Services for
Individuals with Disabilities 

Note: The following is May 27 news release from the U.S. National Commission
on Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS).  For Information Contact
Barbara L. Whiteleather at bwhiteleather@nclis.gov or 202-606-9200.

Washington, DC. - The U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information
Science (NCLIS) will conduct a hearing on Library and Information Services
for Individuals with Disabilities. The Commission recognizes that recent
advances in information technology have improved conditions for some people
with disabilities while presenting new challenges to others. Commission
members wish to explore the gamut of issues raised in order to develop
policy recommendations to appropriate government agencies and other

The hearing will take place on Thursday, July 8, 1999 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00
p.m., in the Kellogg Conference Center, Gallaudet University, 800 Florida
Avenue, NE, Washington, DC. Members of the public are welcome to attend.
While the Commission has chosen as the site of the hearing one of the
nation's foremost educational facilities for the deaf, the focus of this
event goes far beyond individuals with hearing disabilities. Commission
members wish to hear from individuals with disabilities of all types, as
well as from legislators, educators, parents, library and information
service professionals, representatives from national associations and
organizations, volunteers, physicians, and researchers.
"The Commission recognizes that information technology provides help for
many disabled individuals," said Commission Chairperson Jeanne Hurley Simon.
"Electronic text can be manipulated in ways that print cannot to assist
persons with disabilities. Information technology can also help to eliminate
distance and physical barriers."
Libraries and librarians perform an indispensable role in  connecting
disabled individuals to the information resources they need to lead
productive, independent lives. According to Commissioner C.E. (Abe)
Abramson, "Libraries have a responsibility to meet the special needs of
users with physical, learning and other disabilities. The Commission wants
to hear, first hand, of the various kinds of assistance being provided by
libraries to persons with permanent or temporary disabilities, including
assistance in ordering materials in alternative formats, searching and
retrieving materials (both online and print), accessing library buildings
and parking facilities, providing adequate space for study and testing, and
furnishing special equipment."
Persons interested in presenting oral statements should notify Barbara
Whiteleather by e-mail whiteleather@nclis.gov), 
telephone 202-606-9200; or fax 202-606-9203. Written comments will be
accepted before, during, or up to 30 days after the hearing. All comments
must be received at NCLIS no later than the close of business on August 9,
1999 to become part of the hearing record. 
The U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science is a
permanent, independent agency of the Federal government charged by Public
Law 91-345 to appraise the adequacies and deficiencies of current library
and information resources and services and to advise the President and
Congress on national and international library and information policies and

ALAWON (ISSN 1069-7799) is a free, irregular publication of the American
Library Association Washington Office. All materials subject to copyright by
the American Library Association may be reprinted or redistributed for
noncommercial purposes with appropriate credits.

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Received on Friday, 4 June 1999 16:25:34 UTC