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Inclusion Advisory Committee Meeting Summary Wednesday 13 December 2017

Meeting summary of the third Inclusion Advisory Committee meeting, 13 December 2017

The Committee’s third meeting took place on Wednesday 13 December from 4-6pm. 

The meeting commenced with the Chair acknolwedging country and confirming the previous meeting's minutes and actions. 

The first agenda item for discussion was presented by Mr Marcelo Flaskbard, Manager Events. Mr Flaskbard outlined the Library's research into purchasing a new stage for Events with an accessible ramp.  He also spoke about the Library's provision of captioning at major events including the Premiers' History and Literary Awards and the availability of captioning and Auslan interpreters to be requested for other events. Mr Flaksbard also noted that the Library was investigating the provision of automated captioning services for events however members of the Committee  provided feedback that these technologies are often inaccurate and difficult to use. Members also provided feedback about emailed invitations for events, advising that they were image-based and hence not-screen readable. Mr Flaksbard advised that he would give this feedback to the Publication and Design team.

The second item on the agenda was from Mr Phil Barter, Chief Financial Officer at the Library who provided an update on the Library's plans for an accessible ramp into the front of the Mitchell building. Mr Barter shared an architect's drawing of the ramp which is 1.8 metres wide and allows for two people using wheelchairs to pass one another. He also noted further issues with the surrounding precinct, including level issues allowing people to reach the foot of the ramp. Some of the land involved is owned by the City of Sydney and will require their approval as well as that of the Heritage Council. Members provided positive feedback on the plans for the ramp. They enquired whether the doors into the Mitchell building would be automatic and Dr Vallance advised that this was currently beng investigated.

After this presentation, Ms Kim Thomson provided an overview of the adaptive technology services provided in the Library's Governor Marie Bashir Reading Room. Ms Thomson noted that there are two PCs with adaptive technology and some of the software includes Zoomtext, Clearview and JAWS for text readibiltiy and magnification. The Library provides a large print keyboard, a magnifying glass and a reading wand for up to 19 languages, called Readit Air. Members enquired about the review processes of the Adaptive Technology and Ms Thomson advised that there was a specific Working Group in the LIbrary to address these issues. 

Lastly Mr Michael Carney provided an update on the Library's Disabiltiy Inclusion Action Plan which was recently updated and revised to incorporate advice received by the Committee and the Disability Council NSW. Mr Carney noted the design changes including the replacement of images to move away from tokenistic images of people with disability. Mr Carney advised that completed actions from the original version of the plan were noted. Outstanding actions that the Library would be focussing on in the upcoming calendar year include the installation of new adaptive technology signage, the deveopment of the accessibility ramp into the Mitchell Library and the acquisition of more collection material related to people with disability.

The meeting concluded with  well wishes fr the festive season and thanking Mr Mark Tonga for his chairmanship of the Committee for 2017.

The Committee will meet again on Wednesday 4 April 2018.