Library users who are deaf, hard of hearing, or who have speech disorders can call the City of Oakland TTY at (510) 238-3254 with reference questions or with questions about library holdings and library services.
Library users can also use the California Relay Service to call the library. (1-800-735-2929 TTY, 1-800-735-2922 Voice, or just dial 711). Callers are connected to an operator who can transmit spoken words to a recipient with a TTY, or vice versa.
There is also Speech to Speech, a form of Relay Services that provides Communications Assistants (CAs) for people with speech disabilities who have difficulty being understood on the phone. (1-800-854-7784, or 711).
A phonic ear listening assistive system is available for use at library-sponsored programs, with 5 working days notice. This is for the hard of hearing.
Sign language interpreters, real-time captioning, or audio translation are available for library-sponsored programs, with 5 working days notice.
There is a Sorenson Videophone or VRS station in the Lobby at the Main Library. People who are deaf can telephone others using a television and a camera. They can call using sign language, either to a hearing recipient using a relay operator, or to someone else deaf who has a VRS set up. The maximum use per person is 1 hour a day.
Rollators (walkers) are available at the Main Library and Dimond Branch for use within the library. They are equipped with a large basket for carrying library materials to the checkout desk, plus they all come with a seat and backrest for when one might need to take a break.
An Adaptive technology station at the Main Library is in the "Kurzweil Room" across from the circulation desk. A workstation includes sit-stand tales, JAWS, ZoomText, Kurzweil 1000 and 3000. Inspiration, Internet, word processing, and library catalogs. To use the computer you need your library card and a pin number. Computers can be reserved three days in advance. Maximum 2 hours per day.
JAWS is a screen reader, readling aloud information from the computer screen. Ask for a list of available off-site training locations.
KURZWEIL 1000 READING MACHINE for blind users can scan and read a book aloud in English, Spanish, French.
KURZWEIL 3000 is a reading program for people with learning disabilities. This machine scans a text or the Internet and reads it aloud at the same time as it displays it on the monitor. It includes a dictionary and many study aids. It also will scan and read in other languages.
INSPIRATION software is installed in the Kurzweil room and the Teen Zone at Main. Inspiration helps 6th to 12th grade students. Students build graphic organizers to represent concepts and relationships and use the integrated outlining cability to further organize ideas for reports.
A collection of materials on learning disabilities, including autism and Asperger's, is at the Main Library and in the Teen collections. This includes the 22-video set by Melvin Levine called Developing Minds.
The Library owns audio tutorials to teach blind and low-vision users how to use computers, word processing, and the Internet. They are in the Kurweil room at the Main Library.