From reading aids to tools to improve motor function, the Oklahoma Library for the Blind ensures that students with disabilities receive the support they need.
Since birth, Emma and Joey Zeno have had to work harder to succeed. Emma is partially blind and needs reading tools. Her brother Joey uses tactile tools to develop motor skills.
“Just grabbing a toothbrush to brush his teeth is not what he was capable of before using the various tools that AIM has,” said Ashley Zeno, their mother.
The Library for the Blind has everything from Braille books to cards and typewriters.
“We had one student who said it felt like Christmas when they mailed things to them,” said Pepper Watson, director of the AIM Center.
The Library for the Blind’s Accessible Learning Materials Center rents a variety of tools free of charge to help students with disabilities succeed.
“With these tools, we can really balance the playing field and see the same triumphs we see with other students,” Zeno said.
Emma, who loves to read, uses a reading guide to help her focus while reading books.
“When they have the right tools to be successful, it’s a huge thrill. It’s a thrill that I can’t even understand well enough to explain to others who don’t have children with special needs, ”said the mother.
With the help of tactile tools from the AIM Center, Joey can now help around the house with his daily chores.
“Now we come to the point where, when we help him take off his clothes, he can now pick them up and put them in the laundry basket, which is huge!” said Zeno.
These tools are available to all families in Oklahoma.
“When a blind student does not have his equipment in front of him, he can do almost nothing. It’s nice that we know we can deliver things straight to your home, ”Watson said.
Loaned items are returned to AIM when students graduate from high school.