Library Loans Help Oklahoma Students Find Success

Tuesday, June 29th 2021, 10:45 pm

From reading aids to tools to increase motor function, the Oklahoma Library for the Blind is making sure students with disabilities get the support they need.

Since birth, Emma and Joey Zeno have had to work harder to succeed. Emma is partially blind and needs tools to read. Her brother Joey uses tactile tools to help build his motor skills.

“Just picking up a toothbrush to brush your teeth isn’t something that he was capable of before utilizing the different tools that the AIM Center has,” said Ashley Zeno, their mother.

The Library for the Blind has everything from books in brail to flashcards and typewriters.

“We had one student say it was like Christmas getting stuff in the mail for them to use,” said Pepper Watson the Director of the AIM Center.

At no cost, The Accessible Instructional Materials Center at the Library for the Blind rents out a myriad of tools to help students with disabilities succeed.

“Having these tools, we are actually able to even the playing field and see the exact same triumphs that we see out of other students,” said Zeno.

Emma, who loves to read, uses a reader guide that helps her eyes focus as she reads books.

“When they have the right tools that they need to succeed it is a huge thrill. It is a thrill that I can’t really even grasp well enough to explain to others who don’t have special needs children,” said the mother. 

With the help of tactile tools from the AIM Center Joey can now help around the house with everyday chores. 

“We’re at the point now that 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 across Oklahoma.

“With a blind student to not have their equipment in front of them, there is basically nothing they can do. It is so rewarding the fact that we know we can deliver things straight to the house,” said Watson.

Items that are loaned are reclaimed by the AIM Center when students graduate high school.