Recent Events and Programs

Cafritz Awards for Distinguished D.C. Government Employees

The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Awards for Distinguished D.C. Government Employees is an annual program designed to recognize and reward outstanding performance and exemplary service by D.C. government employees. Established in 2000, the awards are presented to five individuals who play a critical, yet in many cases, unseen role of providing outstanding service to the citizens of Washington, D.C. The awards honor individuals whose contributions have been exceptional and whose commitment and professionalism demonstrate the best in public service.

The Adaptive Services Department would like to congratulate:

James Patrick Timony
Librarian, Adaptive Technology
DC Public Library

For more than five years, Timony has been helping to expand the service delivery system of the DC Public Libraries (DCPL). He successfully built a unique and cutting-edge Adaptive Technology Program (ATP) at DCPL that serves as a national model. This innovative program provides adaptive access for blind and print--disabled patrons of the library system in Washington, D.C.  Timony is currently the only adaptive technology librarian at a public library in the United States.

2010 Winners of the Cafritz Awards for Distinguished D.C.Government Employees


"Don't Lose Sight to Glaucoma"

A  lecture, open question and answer forum with glaucoma specialists:

  • Andrew Adelson, M.D
  • Gregory Butler, M.D

Saturday, May 1, 2010, 12 - 4 p.m.
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, Rm.A-5

Glaucoma is a silent disease stealing the sight of millions of Americans, including people with macular degeneration. It slowly reduces eyesight and can cause total blindness. An estimated 2.2 million Americans have glaucoma, and an additional 2 million have the disease and just don’t know it. Groups at higher risk include people with a family history of glaucoma, diabetics, African Americans over age 40 and everyone over age 60, especially Hispanics. Because Glaucoma affects the peripheral (or side) vision, it is extremely important for people with macular degeneration (a loss of central vision) to have regular glaucoma screenings to help prevent complete blindness.

For accommodations, please call the Adaptive Services Division at 202-727-2142 no later than April 16, 2010.

One of Our Own !
Read about  Karen Petrou.


Braille Book Club Welcomes Special Visitor

Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind (CLB) and the DC Public Library’s DC Regional Library for the Blind at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, D.C., continue their successful partnership with the Braille Book Club for children who are braille readers. 

The club meets the first Saturday of each month at the library. On Saturday, November 7, the club members had a very special guest: Kareem Dale, Special Assistant to President Obama for Disability Policy. Mr. Dale’s visit was made possible by an invitation from the DC Public Library.

During the visit, Mr. Dale and the children read a print/braille book together, and Mr. Dale shared what the Obama Administration has accomplished in promoting the rights of individuals with different abilities. Mr. Dale, who is visually impaired and a lawyer, is a great role model for youth who aspire to have a positive impact in their community.

The newest collaboration between CLB and the District of Columbia Public Library is the Chess Club for children and youth who are blind or have low vision, led by Mr. Bennett. 

Halloween Party!

Adaptive Services hosted a Halloween Party on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2009, from 1 to 4 p.m., in Room 215 of the main library.  With scary described videos, spooky music, tasty refreshments and other seasonal delights, there was something for everyone!  For those who haven’t used our described videos, it was a great chance to try them, as well as see old friends and meet new ones, all in one trip.  Everyone got in the spirit with a costume: scary, silly or improvised at the last minute--it was all part of the fun. 

We have had requests for a monthly described video club, so let us know what you think.  We’d also like to plan one for December.

From Chris Corrigan - Volunteer Coordinator

With new work stations in the division, there has been a growing demand for adaptive technology computer instruction. Fortunately, we have a growing, committed pool of volunteers, some of whom use adaptive technology themselves, to instruct our new computer users one-on-one.

Individual and group volunteers have also helped with other projects and services. For our Saturday Technology Training Sessions, sighted volunteers guide our blind and low vision guests to the division from the lobby and around the rest of the library. One group, the Delta Gamma Sorority from George Washington University, has assisted as sighted guides for our events, mentored participants in our D.C. Teens afterschool program, and assisted us in maintaining our collection of talking books for the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

Volunteer Appreciation

On Sept. 12, the Adaptive Services Division co-hosted a volunteer appreciation pizza party with Edna Johnson, Chief, and Brooke Clayborne, Visual Impairment Unit, Department of Disability Services, Rehabilitation Services Administration, and Carrie Wolfson, Volunteer Coordinator. The volunteers were our guests, and we guided them to their seats and served them pizza and soft drinks provided by the Friends of the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Guests were presented with certificates of appreciation for their hard work and commitment.

Arts on Foot

The Adaptive Services Division of the DC Public Library is sponsoring an Arts on Foot Art Show and Performances in the Great Hall of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.  Performances and art show will include: Sing and Sign in American Sign Language (ASL), large scale visual art works, computer-aided visual art, musical performances and singing, and poetry.  This event is part of the Arts on Foot Festival  (this website is in Flash and may be inaccessible if you are using an older screen reader).

If you would like to participate or know anyone who might, please contact Patrick.timony@dc.gov.  Practice dates for Sing and Sign include July 26, Aug. 2, Aug. 9, Aug. 16, Aug. 23 and Aug. 30 from 6:30 to 8:45 p.m. in Adaptive Services, Room 215.  Bring suggestions for songs you want to sign.  If you are interested in participating but cannot come to the practice on Monday nights, contact janice.rosen@dc.gov for alternate practice dates/times.