Individuals with disabilities are also important members of the patron communities at all types of libraries and yet they are often
underserved and sometimes are even excluded from library programs and services. Moreover, as a group, individuals with disabilities
are often overlooked as libraries plan services, events and spaces. This session is designed to shift the way that participants think
about accessibility from one of legal compliance to one of inclusion and strategic focus.
In this session, participants will learn concrete steps that they can take to ensure that their library is not only inclusive but also
welcoming for individuals with a range of types of disabilities. Participants will learn how to move beyond the minimal physical
accessibility that many libraries focus on and towards a truly inclusive stance. Topics covered will include:
1. common issues that create barriers (both physical and otherwise) for individuals with disabilities,
2. how to go beyond simple website accessibility testing tools to ensure that the library’s complete web presence is accessible for and
inclusive of individuals with disabilities,
3. approaches for both passive and active outreach to individuals with disabilities, and
4. techniques to change accessibility into an ongoing area of focus at your library.
By the end of the workshop, participants will not only have gained a greater understanding of barriers that individuals with disabilities
may encounter in attempting to use the library, but will also have developed specific strategies to combat these barriers. The
workshop will include both a presentation and opportunities for interactive work, including paired discussions, a group critique of a
website and the limitations of automated accessibility tests, and brief writing assignments. Each participant will leave the session with
a draft accessibility policy for their library, a selection of online tools that they can deploy at their library, and a list of concrete
changes that they can make at their library to improve accessibility and inclusion.
In advance of the session, participants will be asked to complete a short set of readings and review their own library’s existing
practices and documentation regarding individuals with disabilities. Participants who are not affiliated with a specific library can
instead select a library of their choice and review that library’s public policies and documentation.
Interests: Accessibility (ADAcompliance), Administration and Management, Adult Services, Advocacy, Buildings and Facilities, Collection Development, Community Engagement, Diversity, Electronic Resources, Equity of Access, Marketing, Organizational Change, Outreach Services, Public Programs, Public Services, Social Change, Special Needs Populations, Technology, Training
Library Type: Academic, Community College, Consortium, Corporate, Elementary School, Federal, Government, High School, Informationrelated Organization, Joint Use, Law, Library School, Medical, Middle School, Museum, Native, Nonprofit, Other, Prison Library, Public, Regional System, Research Library, Rural, School/Media Center, Special, State Library, Undergraduate
Cost: Included with full conference registration.