The South Carolina Talking Book Services Assistive Technology Petting Zoo is an outreach initiative to raise awareness for assistive technology and its ability to make public libraries more accessible and inclusive. The Assistive Technology Petting Zoo is comprised of a variety of assistive technology devices for persons with permanent low vision or blindness including glass magnifiers of various strengths, portable video magnifiers including one with a tablet, text to speech devices, and a portable, closed-circuit television. The Petting Zoo can be transported in mobile containers and taken to libraries as well as other public events.
The Assistive Technology Petting Zoo gives South Carolina’s public librarians hands-on experience with Assistive Technology, creating a desire for the library to offer these tools on a daily basis. As a result of this work, mini-grants for purchasing assistive technology for their own use were awarded to public libraries across the state with Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to the South Carolina State Library.