Grants for Digital

One grant that has interested me is the Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation Grant. According to, 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, 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.



There are many ways to incorporate people with disability challenges into the library, but with everything now it all comes down to technology. While many may prefer certain brands over others because of looks and the camera, there is a group of people that have a fundamental reason to like one brand better than others. These individuals prefer a certain brand because the decision that these companies make could affect their everyday way of life. According to Association of Specialized Government and Cooperative Library Agencies, the terms “blindness” and “low vision” cover a wide variety of experiences, including legal blindness, limited visual acuity, and color blindness. People with low vision, for example, have different challenges than people who are blind (Association of Specialized Government and Cooperative Library Agencies). The blind community needs to have certain brands when it comes to certain tools that allow them to interact without any help is major.

There is a name that is given to technology that helps people with disability challenges, assistive technology. Association of Specialized Government and Cooperative Library Agencies states, ““Assistive technology” is a term that describes electronic solutions that enable people with disabilities to live independently. The term “adaptive technology” is sometimes used in a similar way (Association of Specialized Government and Cooperative Library Agencies).”


According to Association of Specialized Government and Cooperative Library Agencies, Microsoft Windows comes with accessibility attributes that can help some people with moderate disabilities use computers (Association of Specialized Government and Cooperative Library Agencies). Microsoft hires people that are affected by the disability challenge and they are the ones who come up with the ideas for Microsoft to try. One such person is Saqib Shaikh, Shaikh works in London, England for Microsoft in the Bing search engine department. Shaikh is work on helping develop Microsoft AI technology.

Sound Sentry- helps hearing-impaired people see audio computer cues
Sticky Keys- which enables key-combination commands to be entered as individual key entries

Association of Specialized Government and Cooperative Library Agencies states, “Apple also incorporates accessibility in all of its products, and most experts consider Apple accessibility features to be superior to those of Microsoft. Although they are generally more expensive, Apple products offer a significant number of tools available that help people with learning, visual, hearing, and physical disabilities access information without any cost to the library (Association of Specialized Government and Cooperative Library Agencies).”

The Winner
Apple seems to be the preferred brand among most people who are blind. During to the Q and A of another class we had a guest speaker who was completely blind named Tim, Tim was asked by a student which brand he preferred when it came to assistive technology? His answer was Apple. Tim explained that Apple was the first company to have assistive technology in their devices. Tim stated, “Apple had assistive technology in their first device, making them the leaders.” But he made sure to point out it was not just because they were the first it was because they kept improving the issues, not by just putting a band-aid over the problem and hope it would fix itself, but by fixing any problems at the root. Tim is not the only one that feels that way, according to Mark Gurman, The American Foundation for the Blind today announced four honorees for the upcoming Helen Keller Achievement Awards, highlighting Apple’s VoiceOver and Accessibility efforts (Gurman). Apple is specifically being awarded for VoiceOver Accessibility technology across its products, per the announcement: AFB is recognizing Apple for VoiceOver, a gesture-based screen reader that allows users to hear a description of everything happening on the display, and other features that make iPhone, iPad and other iOS devices accessible to people with vision loss. Apple received an AFB Access Award in 2009 for its trailblazing engineering of accessible products and continues its extraordinary efforts to make their products accessible for everyone (Gurman).



Works Cited
Association of Specialized Government and Cooperative Library Agencies. Blindness and Low Vision. n.d. 28 October 2018.
Gurman, Mark. American Foundation for the Blind honors Apple for VoiceOver technology. 6 May 2015. 28 October 2018.


The most challenging aspects of copyright to me is the length of the copyright. The current length of copyright noted by Peter B. Hirtle is life of the author plus 70 years (Hirtle).  Protecting something for that many years seems to be too much. Derek Khanna’s states, “The reason they’ve done that infringement upon our personal liberty is in order to create that incentive. But the founders recognized that you have to have that eventually expire to allow for everybody to be able to build upon that work. And that’s why copyright is very different from traditional property. It has to expire (Pethokoukis).” As the class was going over copyright, I started wondering about certain work that could be challenging for them to just fit into the copyright rules. It seems like every type of work is covered, but there is a new type of problem that I believe will eventually pop-up for the copyright committee. Fanfiction,  will be the cause of the next big copyright issue. For those who do not know what fanfiction is, it is when a fan of a certain work rewrites the story or work to fit how they believe it should be. Some fanfiction even goes a far as drawing out the complete work and only keeping the characters. Some website has made up rules  that are supposed to comply with copyright rules by giving credit to the author for the characters, I believe the steps that the authors take to give credit is all they need to do. I did not see anywhere in Peter B. Hirtle “Recent Changes to the Copyright Law: Copyright Term Extension,” where this subject is brought up. I believe that it is worth having its own category in the copyright rules.

There are two sections in the copyright rules that I do not understand: special and sound recordings. First, each section seems to have a special cases section, but these sections should be removed. The law cannot be enforced if you leave a population of people out of side law. I understand there are other major issues that could be in play here, but just like we ignore them they can ignore us. This means section gives loopholes for others to exploit.

The second part that I am having trouble understanding is the sound recording rules. The lawsuit against Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson for the song ‘Uptown Funk’ confuses me. I am a huge Bruno Mars fan, having been to two concerts for two different tours, so I have been following him for a long time. What comes with following him so much is a know when something is said against him about one of his songs that he helped write. Since coming out with ‘Uptown Funk’ Bruno and Mark have been in and out of court. Michelle Fabio states, “Since its release in 2014, ‘Uptown Funk has been in the legal system almost as much as it’s been played in dance clubs (Fabio).” Fabio is referencing the four different court cases that were brought against Bruno and Mark for copyright infringement. What I do not get is how can four different people/companies state that Uptown Funk copied from their song, when they are all pointing at the same part as being copyrighted? Two of the cases are for the same lyrics and two are for the same instrumental tones at the beginning of the song.
Works Cited
Fabio, Michelle. Bruno Mars And Mark Ronson’s ‘Uptown Funk’ Faces (Yet Another) Copyright Infringement Suit. n.d. website. 24 September 2018.
Hirtle, Peter B,. “Recent Changes To The Copyright Law: Copyright Term Extension.” Archival Outlook (1999).
Pethokoukis, James. Copyright law, crony capitalism, and economic growth: A Q&A with Derek Khanna. 10 February 2014. website. 23 September 2018.