Gugerty, J., Roshal, A., Tradewell, M., Anthony, L. (1981) Tools, equipment, and machinery: Adapted for the vocational education and employment of handicapped people. Madison: University of Wisconsin.
One of the lesser-known assets of the Barr Library is its large holding of historical educational research held in the pamphlet files. These works range from government and institutional funded projects, dissertations, newsletters, individual contributions, to internal research done by APH staff members. It is always interesting taking a dive into the collection to glimpse a view of the B/VI field from the past.
One such title is Tools, Equipment, and Machinery, produced in 1981 with the intent of assisting in the vocational education and employment of individuals who are handicapped. Tools, Equipment, and Machinery is essentially a catalog containing descriptions and illustrations of modified tools, equipment, and machinery for use in 38 areas from across the United States. Some of the listed areas are the arts, communication, computer processing, electronics, education, machine trades, measuring, mobility, reading, sewing, and typing to name a few. The items range from workplace and daily living solutions to verging technologies. Over 100 items listed are related to the field of visual impairment and several are APH products. Each entry is pictured along with providing information on how it works, its developer, place of use, field-testing regulatory approval, availability, source, price, and role in overcoming specific problems.
It is not only interesting viewing APH products from the past, some of which like the signature guide are still with us today, but also how the emerging personal computer and technologies we associate with the modern information age were first being incorporated to promote independence. These include devices for text-to-speech, speech command, braille designed telnet devices, a precursor to the internet that accessed bulletin board system to obtain information, and APH’s own Soniguide, a sound device designed for tracking and localizing for independent or cane travel among other things. The title is also an excellent representative of Resource Service’s digitalization efforts with Internet Archive, which seeks to both preserve and make titles from our collections widely available beyond APH.
The APH Barr Library supports research initiatives at APH, while the Migel Collection is one of the largest collections of nonmedical information related to visual impairment in the world. Although the collections do not circulate, an ongoing digitization effort means APH will make materials available online at https://archive.org/details/aphmigel. The digitized texts are available in a variety of accessible formats, including DAISY, Kindle, EPUB, PDF, and read-aloud. Contact Library staff: firstname.lastname@example.org , 800-223-1839, ext. 705.