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Disabilities: Articles

Making Your Academic Library Accessible

Most resources about service for patrons with disabilities revolve around public or K-12 school libraries. Here are some resources to point you in the right direction for your academic library:

  • "Collaboration between the Library and Office of Student Disability Services: Document accessibility in higher education” by Rebecca Arzola (Digital Library Perspectives, 2016)
  • “Developing Accessible Libraries and Inclusive Librarians in the 21st Century: Examples from Practice” by Ruth V. Small. William N. Myhill, and Lydia Herring-Harrington, (Advances in Librarianship, Volume 40, 2015)
  • “Accessibility and Special Collections Libraries: Using Technology to Close the Digital Divide” by Emily Hardesty (Public Services Quarterly, Volume 12, 2016)
  • “Access Is Not Problem Solving: Disability Justice and Libraries” by Alana Kumbier and Julia Starkey (Library Trends, Volume 64, 2016)
  • “Accessibility and Diversity in Library and Information Science: Inclusive Information Architecture for Library Websites” by Kyunghye Yoon, Laura Hulscher, and Rachel Dols (Library Quarterly, 2016)

Applying Universal Design In Libraries

Accessibility measures on a low budget are not easy to navigate. Here are some helpful resources that offer an overview on what Universal Design is, and how it can be best implemented to serve your community.

  • Project ENABLE, Module 3,
  • “Collaboration at Its Best: Library and Autism Programs Combine to Serve Special Audience” by Georgia Winston and Courtney Adams (Children & Libraries 8, no. 2, p. 15-17)
  • “Libraries and Universal Design” by Carli Spina, (Theological Librarianship, 2017)
  • “Universal Design: A Practical Guide to Creati(ng and Re-Creating Interiors of Academic Libraries for Teaching, Learning, and Research” by Gail Staines, (Elsevier, 2012)
  • “Universal Design in Higher Education; From Principles to Practice” (2nd ed), edited by Sheryl E. Burgstahler (Harvard Education Press, 2015)

Ableism & Intersectional Analysis

The way ableism (prejudice against people with disabilities) manifests varies depending on the other life experience a person has. Disability looks different based on culture and experience, but the narrative we have on disability as a society favors certain types of disabilities -- and people with disabilities -- over others. Here are some resources that confront that societal bias.

  • Project ENABLE, Module 1,
  • “Race and Disability: From Analogy to Intersectionality” by Angela Frederick and Dara Shifter (Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, Volume 5, Issue 2, April 2019)
  • “Racism and Ableism” by Isabella Kres-Nash,
  • “First Deafblind Woman to Graduate from Harvard Law Talks Accessibility, Ableism” by Lauryn Johnson, (The Stanford Daily, October 2019)
  • “Disabled Women for Reproductive Justice” by Mia Mingus, (The Pro-Choice Public Education Project)
  • Tips