Broward County Libraries Division
ensures its programs and services provide books and other materials to Broward County's disabled population. This is accomplished in part through three important services.
Signing Savvy, a free online sign language dictionary, is now available to Broward County Library customers. With your Broward County Library card, you can access this valuable online resource that will help you learn and remember American Sign Language (ASL). Signing Savvy contains several thousand high-resolution videos of American Sign Language signs, finger-spelled words and other common signs used within the U.S. and Canada. It also includes the ability to view large sign videos, build your own word lists, share lists with others, create virtual flash cards and quizzes, print signs, build sign phrases and more.
Broward County's Talking Book Library, based in downtown Fort Lauderdale's Main Library, offers books, magazines, and other reading materials on cassette and in large-print and Braille format. Participants select their choices from a catalog, (also available on cassette, Braille, or large print), and items are mailed postage-free. Special cassette players and headphones are also provided free of charge. Potential Talking Books Library customers can pick up an application at any of Broward County Library's 37 locations; however, a certification of eligibility by a professional is required. The Broward County program, which began locally in 1977, currently reaches about 3,500 residents. In 2006 alone, over 128,000 Talking Books were circulated.
Signing Stories @ your library is a great way for deaf and hard-of-hearing customers to enjoy the storytelling experience in American Sign Language (ASL). In 2006, the Division held its first American Sign Language Literacy Festival, which attracted more than 400 attendees, including ASL interpreters, members of the deaf community and their families, and professionals who work in deafness-related fields. The program's final session for the fiscal year was held the first Saturday in March at West Regional Library; Signing Stories @ your library is scheduled to resume in fall 2012.
Any Broward County resident unable to visit the library because of a disability or lack of transportation is eligible to apply for Books-by-Mail, a service that allows registered customers to get books and other materials through the U.S. Postal Service. All of the library's circulating collection is available and regular library procedures are followed, although the lending period is longer to compensate for mailing time. Customers who qualify for large-print materials are eligible for the Free Matter for the Blind or Handicapped program and do not have to pay for postage. Additionally, an Institution Library Card program is available for adult congregate-living facilities.
Broward County Library provides many Services for Persons with Disabilities in an effort to ensure that its programs and services are accessible to everyone.