Crash Course in Library Access & People with Disabilities

As a companion to my Young Librarian Series contribution, I compiled this set of links for those who would like to learn more about library services and people with disabilities.  This short list is hardly exhaustive, but I hope it will provide interested persons with a good start.  The links are also available via the Diigo collaborative bookmarking site: mbfortson’s yl_crash Bookmarks on Diigo.


Association of Specialized & Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA)
From the site: “The Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) enhances the effectiveness of library service by providing networking, enrichment and educational opportunities for its diverse members, who represent state library agencies, libraries serving special populations, multitype library organizations and independent librarians.” Recommended reading: ASCLA’s Issues, Libraries Serving Special Populations Section, and Publications pages; the Library Accessibility: What You Need to Know and Think Accessible toolkits; the ASCLA Wiki.

Other resources from the American Library Association:

ALA Connect
ALA’s online professional network offers several disability-related Member Communities, including ACRL’s Universal Accessibility Interest Group and communities associated with ASCLA’s Libraries Serving Special Populations Section.

Library Services for People with Disabilities Policy
From the policy: “Libraries should use strategies based upon the principles of universal design to ensure that library policy, resources and services meet the needs of all people.”

Schneider Family Book Award
From the site: “The Schneider Family Book Awards honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.” Recommended reading: listing of past winners and the Select Bibliography of Children’s Books about the Disability Experience.

Services to Persons with Disabilities: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights
Applies principles of the Library Bill of Rights to library services and people with disabilities.

Other sites:

AccessLibraries | DO-IT
Materials produced through a year-long collaboration between DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking and Technology) and the University Libraries at the University of Washington.

Awareness & Etiquette resources from Easter Seals, United Cerebral Palsy, and VSA arts.
From the UCP site: “The rules of etiquette and good manners for dealing with people with disabilities are generally the same as the rules for good etiquette in society. These guidelines address specific issues which frequently arise for people with disabilities in terms of those issues related to disability.” Recommended reading: UCP’s Interaction & Etiquette Tips and “suggestions on how to relate and communicate with and about people with disabilities”; Disability Etiquette, Myths and Facts About People With Disabilities, and Understanding Disability from Easter Seals.

Disability.gov, a federal web site whose mission is “to connect people with disabilities, their family members, veterans, caregivers, employers, service providers and others with the resources they need to ensure that people with disabilities can fully participate in the workplace and in their communities.” Recommended reading: the Technology and Laws & Regulations sections. Visitors can use the Information by State feature to locate information and resources close to home.

The Disability History Museum and Museum of disABILITY History both offer collections whose focus is the history of people with disabilities. The latter also offers resources for educators.

Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
From the site: “The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) works with organizations around the world to develop strategies, guidelines, and resources to help make the Web accessible to people with disabilities.” Recommended reading: the Introducing Accessibility section and its Introduction to Web Accessibilityand Introduction to How People with Disabilities Use the Web.

Looking for a particular kind of resource? Have a favorite site or publication to share? Please post a comment below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *