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Title:Leading, educating, and inspiring LIS professionals to embrace accessibility for a resilient future
Author(s):Dali, Keren; Hahn, Michelle K.; Smith, Andrew J.M.
Course design
Workplace equity
Abstract:The COVID years (2020-2021) have put the issues of disability and accessibility in the spotlight. Social interactions, employment, studies, and day-to-day activities for some people with disabilities have become increasingly more challenging than before; and yet, others have found opportunity and even relief in working from home, having a chance to avoid the grueling commute and inaccessible physical environments, often associated with workplaces. The pandemic and remote engagements have thus highlighted disparities within the disabled community itself: those with comfortable living conditions, information literacy skills, and stable internet access fared exceedingly better than individuals lacking these conditions. People with disabilities in all LIS constituent groups have been affected: students, librarians, library users, faculty, and academic staff. This has shown the need for building resilience and intensifying discussion on the importance of accessibility. This session will bring together over a dozen educators from American and Canadian LIS programs and include five presentations accompanied by hands-on interactive activities. After a brief introduction (5 min), each group of presenters will introduce their topics (30-35 min) and then engage the audience in a series of activities that they have prepared (40 min). Participants will reconvene for the general discussion (10-15 min). Cahill, Adkins, and Bushman will review the ways in which LIS courses in youth services address programs for young children with disabilities. Following the talk, they will facilitate the collaborative scrutiny of syllabi from LIS youth services courses. They will encourage participants to collectively come up with solutions, changes, and improvements and show their alignments with ALA Core Competences and COA Standards for Accreditation. Copeland, Mallary, and Thompson will focus on the training of LIS professionals that helps them embrace accessibility by using scenarios for inclusive hiring practices. They will offer a lesson plan for preparing future LIS managers and leaders for the equitable handling of job interviews, inclusive job advertising, and onboarding after hiring. Participants will learn to design training scenarios related to teaching students about inclusive communicative practices. Focusing on the potential of libraries to provide “non-pharmacological interventions” that improve the lives of people living with dementia and their care partners, Dickey will help participants explore the ways to prepare LIS students for supporting these user groups. Participants will brainstorm practical suggestions for fostering accessibility when people with dementia are concerned and discover resources for leadership and advocacy. Hill and Wong will zero in on everyday choices made by LIS educators in their course design that can improve accessibility in learning, including policies, learning materials, and considerations of diversity in establishing “norms.” Participants will leave with a checklist of practices for accessibility audit in their courses. Farmer will take up the topic of collaboration with disability support service providers (DSSP). Building off the lived experiences of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), participants will learn several strategies for successful collaboration with DSSP. The SIG session will end with the general discussion of how the aforementioned aspects are affected during world health emergencies and what it means for the future of accessibility.
Issue Date:2021-09-20
Social justice
Genre:Conference Paper / Presentation
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-09-17

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