Visually impaired students’ satisfaction with Kyambogo University Library Services in Uganda
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Access to information is regarded as the key to development in all spheres of life. This is the reason as to why academic libraries world over ought to build a collection that satisfies a broad range of users including those with special needs. Some studies indicate that most of the library material available to the sighted users is not easily accessible to the visually impaired. The study aimed at establishing the visually impaired students’ satisfaction with Kyambogo university library services. The objectives of the study were to: to identify the library needs of visually impaired students and analyze their perception towards Kyambogo University Library services; to determine the level of visually impaired students’ satisfaction with Kyambogo University Library services; to identify and examine challenges in the provision and accessibility of Kyambogo University Library Services by visually impaired students and to propose strategies of overcoming the challenges in the provision and accessibility of Kyambogo University Library services by visually impaired students. The social model of disability was used because it advocates for inclusiveness of persons with disabilities in the regular society activities. The study employed a qualitative approach and adopted a Case study design. 12 visually impaired students and 3 librarians at Kyambogo University library participated in this study. Data collection involved use of in-depth interviews, observation and document review. Triangulation, validity and reliability were also used as data quality control strategies. The major findings established that Kyambogo University Library needs computers with JAWS program to enable them know what is being displayed on a computer screen, audio recorded books that they can listen to since they cannot see, Braille books since it is the language the completely blind students use to read, Guides and interpreters to take them through the library and to pick for them books and Hand lens for those with low vision to magnify for them the text. However, these resources are still inadequate at the university library. The study therefore recommends that if the visually impaired students are to have maximum interaction with the library resources, they need to have assistive technologies to facilitate them in their library search for information. These assistive technologies include things like Braille machines, hand lenses to aid them in reading, JAWS program, Audiobooks and these are recorded with the use of a human voice.