The Yuma County Library District recently received $26,000 in assistive technology from the Arizona Secretary of State’s office. For the Arizona Science Desk, Maya Springhawk Robnett reports…
The virtual reality equipment at the Yuma Main Library involves goggles, a headset, and two controllers. The idea is to immerse an individual in games, learning programs, or even Google Earth topography. Sarah Wisdom with the Library District said virtual reality can aid people who are easily distracted.
“Somebody who maybe is autistic or on the autistic spectrum—you’re very sensitive to distractions,” she explained. “This is all-immersive, so hopefully that will help with learning, as well.”
Another piece of equipment at the Library is a digital pen that reads words aloud—ideal for dyslexics or those learning a second language. Brenda Cervantes with the Library District rolled the pen across a sentence in a book. A robotic voice gave the pronunciation of the words.
“Press on it and it gives you the definition of it in English,” Cervantes said. “You could also have an option to move it up and it will give it to you in Spanish, the definition.”
47-year-old Christine Meyers brought her 8-year-old son, Brandon, to test out some of the tech geared toward younger kids. Brandon Meyers was excited to use the new equipment and his mother said she was happy he was learning. Meyers said she’ll be bringing her son often to use the new tech.
The Libraries Enabling Assistive Discovery—or “Leading”—Technology Project also includes an adjustable touch-screen computer and interactive games.