One grant that has interested me is the Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation Grant. According to partnersforsight.org, Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation is committed to providing support that directly improves the lives of blind and visually-impaired individuals, helping them realize their full potential in society (Partners for Sight). The grant is available for programs working on both local and national level, the main area of focus for the grant in Maine to Washington, D.C., but the organization is known to award grants to other areas of the country. The grants are award to organizations for startup or improvement, but the one thing that each organization must prove to Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation is that they can attract funding from other business or organizations. The amount that is usually award to first-time grant recipients is between $5,000 to $25,000. Grant proposals are taken all throughout the year, but the decision of who will get the grant is made only three times a year at board meetings. One thing that the website points out is just because you submit a proposal does not mean that you would get to present your proposal at the broad meeting.
From my viewpoint, this grant for a digital library would focus on user experience. When a library offers digital services to patrons they must account for how all the patrons would be able to use that service, that includes patrons with disability challenges. This grant allows for digital library management to make sure that their library is user-friendly, by implementing certain tools that make their website accessible to all. According to guage.agency, the average cost to make a small or medium-sized eCommerce store ADA accessible ranges between $27,000 and $50,000, depending on the size of the website (Cristancho). With the cost been high the government offers tax credits to any business that those make their site ADA accessible, this tax credit usually takes care of 50% of the cost, which makes Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation grant perfect to cover the rest of the cost.
While the digital library aspect is important, public libraries offer a lot of digital services to their patrons. These services are used by most patrons, but what about the patrons that need certain devices to be able to use such services. According to Center of Disease Control and Prevention, more than 3.4 million (3%) Americans aged 40 years and older are either legally blind (having visual acuity [VA] of 20/200 or worse or a visual field of fewer than 20 degrees) or are visually impaired (having VA of 20/40 or less) (Eye Diseases Prevalence Research Group, 2004). The Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics (2008) estimates that 17% of the age 65 and older population report “vision trouble.” Twenty-one million Americans report functional vision problems or eye conditions that may compromise vision (CDC ). The number of people in the United States shows that at one point or another public library play role in the lives of people with vision disabilities. The Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation Grant would work for a public by allowing for them to purchase assistive technology that they could offer to patrons so that the patron could take advantage of the digital services that the library offers. The assistive technology could range from portable braille keyboards to iPads. Even though the use of the grant is not for a digital library it is for digital services that feedback to digital libraries that are run by other organizations.
CDC . The Burden of Vision Loss. 25 September 2009. 3 December 2018.
Cristancho, Mike. How To Make Your Site ADA Compliant. 18 August 2017. 3 December 2018.
Partners for Sight. Grants. 2017. 3 December 2018.