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King County Library System Events during Older Americans Month

KCLS talking

OAM2016a1Happy Older Americans Month! Since 1963, people in towns and cities across the nation have used the month of May to celebrate the contributions of older Americans. Isn’t it nice to have a whole month to celebrate? Here’s to us!

In May the King County Library System is hosting two events, designed with you in mind.

Assistive Technology and Resources Fair

Maintaining independence is a primary focus as we age, and one of the things most of us discover is that we need a little help as the years go by. Fortunately, there are many innovations and devices we can use to make our lives and those of our loved ones easier. These items fall under a broad category called “assistive technology,” and range from canes and magnifying glasses, to sophisticated smartphone “apps” that help people remember it’s time to take medicine, and floor sensors which detect whether someone has fallen out of bed. The King County Library System invites you to learn about assistive technologies and community resources designed to make your life easier at a free Assistive Technology and Resources Fair on Saturday, May 14, 2016 (11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.) at the Bellevue Library.


A high-contrast keyboard is just one piece of assistive technology available for individuals with low vision.

While you’re at this resource fair, you’ll have opportunities to talk with representatives from many organizations to learn what they can do for you. Participating organizations include:

  • City of Bellevue ADA
  • Deaf-Blind Service Center
  • Hearing Loss Association of Washington
  • Hearing, Speech & Deaf Center
  • Hopelink Transportation (King County Mobility Coalition)
  • The Seattle Public Library LEAP (Library Equal Access Program)
  • SightConnection
  • Sound Generations (formerly Senior Services)
  • Washington Access Fund
  • Washington Assistive Technology Act Program
  • Washington Talking Book & Braille Library

Real-time captioning (CART) will be provided at this event. If you require ASL interpreting services, please make arrangements at least seven calendar days in advance by contacting

King County Library Services Telephone Town Hall

Another event this May can connect you with direct access to expert information about Social Security and Medicare. King County Library Services’ free Telephone Town Hall takes place on Wednesday, May 18, 2016 (10:30–11:30 a.m.) on YOUR home phone!

It’s easy to sign up. Here’s how it works:

  • Register your phone number by May 15 at If you need assistance, call Ask KCLS at 425-462-9600 or contact your local library. Be sure to include your telephone number in the registration to receive a phone call.
  • We’ll call registered participants between 10:25–10:40 a.m. on Wednesday, May 18.
  • Pick up and stay on the line until the call starts. You will hear introductory remarks and then be connected.
  • The format is like a radio talk show—you can simply listen on your phone.
  • Our experts will even take live questions from the audience.
ADA Computer

This ADA computer station features the ZoomText Image Reader, Focus 40 Braille Output, and a large-type, high-contrast keyboard. Photo courtesy of The Seattle Public Library.

Seattle Public Library LEAP

A special shout-out to The Seattle Public Library LEAP (Library Equal Access Program), which helps make The Seattle Public Library accessible for people with disabilities or special needs. The program offers adaptive equipment at the Central Library as well as the 26 branch libraries in Seattle. The assistive resources include: JAWS, ZoomText, Braille Display Systems, Kurzweil Systems and other assistive resources. LEAP also coordinates a Low Vision and ASL Book Group, assistive technology classes, ADA accommodations, and provides other programs and services for the successful use of library resources by patrons with a disability or special needs. For more information, read Access for All at The Seattle Public Library (AgeWise King County, January 2016), visit the LEAP webpage or e-mail ADA coordinator/supervising librarian Cleo Brooks at

Happy Older Americans Month!

Contributor Wendy Pender is the older adult project specialist at King County Library System (KCLS). She outlined the wealth of resources available at KCLS libraries in Oh, The Places You’ll Go at King County Libraries (AgeWise King County, January 2016). For more information about King County Library System programs for older adults, contact Wendy at 425-369-3285 or