Adaptive Technology for Checkout

Project Title: Adaptive technology for checkout

Long Title (if desired): Adaptive technology for checkout in the Libraries

Project Lead's Name: Katie Gibson

Project Lead's Email:

Project Lead's Phone: 513-529-0190

Project Lead's Division: ULB

Primary Department: Libraries

List Departments Benefiting or Affected by this proposal: This proposal will potentially help all departments in that it affects all students needing Adaptive Technology. In particular, the following departments will be affected:

  • ULB
  • Miller Center for Student Disability Services
  • AccessMU Center

Estimated Number of Under-Graduate students affected per year (should be number who will actually use solution, not just who is it available to): 2,000

Estimated Number of Graduate students affected per year (should be number who will actually use solution, not just who is it available to): 280

Describe the problem you are attempting to solve and your approach for solving that problem: Miami has seen an increase in enrollment of students who disclose learning and physical disabilities. Yet spaces in our libraries are not always suitably adapted to meet the ways these students optimally study and learn. A shift toward group workspace and an open layout has increased noise levels In our study spaces. This additional sensory input can prove distracting to students studying but is especially problematic for students with diagnoses such as autism spectrum disorder or ADHD. These students can be particularly sensitive to auditory sensory input. Studies (Ikuta et al., 2016, for example) have proven that noise-canceling headphones can help students to deal with unpleasant sensory auditory stimuli" (25). The Libraries have headphones available for checkout, but they are not noise-canceling, and they have an audio wire. We propose the purchase of 10 sets of high-quality Bluetooth noise-canceling headphones in order to improve the library experience for any student who borrows a focus kit. There are less expensive options for sound-reducing ear protection, but our goal is to avoid the stigma associated with such devices and to give students more flexibility for studying with or without sound. As an additional benefit to students with ADHD, we propose the purchase of fidget cubes for inclusion In these kits. Gross motor movements can benefit students completing tasks requiring attention (Sarver,  Rapport, Kofler,  Ralker, & Friedman, 2015).

However, students do not just come to the library to study, they also come to make use of the largest computer facility on campus open to the public. We increasingly have accessibility software installed on all public computers, but the physical hardware of these stations is not accessible to all students. We loan hardware to be used with our public computers such as portable DVD drives, but we do not yet have the means to make workstations themselves accessible should the need arise. We propose the purchase of accessible keyboards and trackballs, switch adapted computer mice. The Libraries will coordinate the promotion of all the resources mentioned above specifically to students registered with the MIiier Center for Student Disability Services and the AccessMU center in IT Services.

How would you describe the innovation and/or the significance of your project: While the technologies presented here are not themselves innovative, they have never before been available in the Libraries for loan. This will improve the accessibility of the Libraries' physical spaces for a significant portion of the student population for the first time.

How will you assess the success of the project: The project's success will be measured one year after these items are made available, and will be determined by the circulation of each, and when in the academic year each saw the most use.

Financial information

Total Amount Requested: $6,100

Budget Details:

  • 10 Fidget cubes $100
  • 10 sound-canceling headphones $3,000
  • 10 adaptive keyboards $400
  • 10 adaptive mice $2600

Is this a multi-year request: No

Please address how, if at all, this project aligns with University, Divisional, Departmental or Center strategic goals: This project seeks to address the Miami 2020 plan Foundational Goal 2, Objective 2, to create an environment where our people live, learn, and work cooperatively with those of widely varied backgrounds, beliefs, abilities, and lifestyles, moving beyond boundaries to welcome, seek, and understand diverse peoples and perspectives" by creating more inclusive library spaces.