Tay Lodge Technologies Ltd.
Web A.T. Library
The Tay Lodge Web A.T. Library is a simple-to-use yet sophisticated web-based solution for assistive technology libraries/loan-banks. Alongside its core library functions, the Web A.T. Library also provides a forum for professional networking and training for its members, typically those involved in the assistive technology field.
For many disabled persons, assistive technology (AT) is a necessity, providing independence, facilitating social inclusion and enabling participation in opportunities that are taken for granted by individuals who do not have disabilities. The ability to evaluate a selection of different, often expensive, assistive technology products is for many a significant obstacle to identifying the best product to meet their needs.
We believe the key to providing this access are Tay Lodge’s Web A.T. Libraries, designed from the ground up with accessibility in mind. Adhering to W3C WAI AA guidelines, and designed in collaboration with several assistive technology professional groups* the Web AT Library provides a solution that is truly accessible from Administrator through to end-user.
The key factor driving change in libraries in recent times has been the impact of advances in web and Internet technologies. The goals of the Web A.T. Library are to take advantage of these changes in e-service provision to bring together on-line tools for efficient and transparent library management, and remote user access. All web-pages satisfy stringent web accessibility criteria.
The library has been designed in response to:
  • the deficiencies in access, assessment and provision of assistive technology (AT) to the disabled community
  • the rapidly developing area of electronic assistive technology (EAT) and the huge potential that this area holds for empowering, providing independence, and increasing quality of life for people with disabilities
  • the need to communicate, educate, network, and share experiences amongst people working in the EAT area and those wishing to enter it
  • the common technological solutions that can benefit people with a range of disabilities
  • the need for organisations representing diverse and disparate sectors of the disability community, all of which can benefit from AT, to work in a cohesive and integrated manner to optimise the service received by their clients
The Web A.T. Library supports and welcomes end-users from across the disability sector. The menus, layout and interface have been specifically designed to be as end-user friendly as possible. When A.T. users return products, detailed feedback is collected, to build up a valuable database of end-user experiences, helping professionals in the A.T. sector identify solutions of particular quality, and to best allocate resources to A.T. users.
Beneficiaries of the library include:
  • Professionals working in area of electronic assistive technology & providing support to individuals with disabilities
  • Disabled individuals living in the Library’s catchment area who may benefit from the use of AT
  • General public/family/carers/friends of disabled people who may be seeking information on AT
  • Policy makers and funders within the disability sector
  • Indirectly, the State – due to economic and social advantages of facilitating greater levels of independent living.
Overview
Management
  • Rapid form filling, requiring minimal input. Real-time data capture.
  • With tiered roles from ‘administrator’ to 'librarian', 'member', ‘clerk’and 'guest' (member of the public) loan bank functions are divided into small, logical, tightly controlled groups so users are exposed to appropriate content at every level.
  • Easy Search Function
  • Intuitive management of membership. Supervisors manage members roles and permissions. Members themselves control their profile content allowing ‘as much information as the member feels comfortable’ to be shared with the A.T. community at large.
  • Easy access to all active loans and loan history.
  • Automated Email Warnings at various stages of the Loan cycle, including late loans for a rapid call-back of the latecomers.
  • Reports are viewed on-screen prior to printing.
Stock items
  • Bar-coded, but may be entered via the keyboard
  • Navigate easily between all the items resulting from a search
  • Detailed history available
  • Supports composite items, with bill-of-materials
Stock items
  • Fully automated loan cycle
  • Automatic emails for overdue items, despatched items etc
  • Dates are calculated automatically or entered manually through a built-in calendar
  • Warning emails are also automatic but can be modified by an administrator
  • The Dispatcher will be informed of issues relating to a loan request (e.g. user has overdue loans), and uses their discretion as to issuing the loan.
Usage Analysis
  • Each loan cycle records end-user (client) experience data
  • The usage data is configurable, and much is drop-down based
  • Typically includes gender, age, location etc