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Title:Accessible Options: Putting Learning Disabilities into Library School
Author(s):Archer-Helke, Caitlin
Subject(s):Library and information science education
Abstract:Many Library and Information Science courses maintain a relative silence about services to people with learning disabilities, a silence which carries over into Library and Information Science’s professional literature. Accessibility, while occasionally discussed, is rarely present in the classroom—yet it is not only ethical to provide accommodations but, thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), also a matter of compliance with the law. A level of alienation often accompanies learning disabilities, not just for those who live with these differences but for their families as well. People with learning disabilities do come to our libraries, school, public, and academic alike, and in order to provide them the same high levels of service as we provide other patrons, we must make sure that we are educated in serving them as well as their families. Luckily, it is not so difficult to incorporate information about services to people with learning disabilities into our coursework. In many cases, it’s also not that difficult to improve the accessibility of services we already offer, including signage and websites, for people with disabilities. While this poster will make use primarily of dyslexia due to experience with this learning disability, adjustments to improve library accessibility for dyslexics are closely linked to the ADA’s website suggestions, meaning that by making our libraries more dyslexic-friendly, we are also making them more ADA-compliant. (It’s worth noting that, in many cases, we will also make our websites and signage easier for people without learning disabilities as well—clear signage helps everyone, including library staff.) Resources, including the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions’ guidelines for services to people with dyslexia and other learning differences and selected studies from the fields of education and library and information science, will be mentioned. The importance of understanding learning disabilities and of offering service to those with learning disabilities will be stressed, as will the importance of training tomorrow’s librarians to better understand, and thus better serve, those with learning disabilities.
Issue Date:2015-04-11
Series/Report:Proceedings of the 2015 Symposium on LIS Education
Genre:Presentation / Lecture / Speech
Rights Information:Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-06-16

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