Identifying Needs; Removing Barriers;
Enhancing Services and Accessibility
People with disabilities have the same right to access the library and assistance from its staff as all other residents of a library’s community. The goal of the NTRLS Accessibility program, which began in September 2008 under a LSTA Special Projects grant, was to promote Universal Access (UA) to libraries, thereby making library services and programs more inclusive.
Participating libraries reported the following:
- The changes simultaneously benefitted individuals of diverse geographic, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds as well as individuals with limited functional literacy or information skills.
- The program served families below the poverty line in that members of such families often are not aware of available assistive tools, cannot afford them and/or are not aware of resources which might provide funding for needed assistance of any kind. This program put many of those tools into libraries, helping to increase awareness among people who need them or who know someone who does, and spreading the word about UA and related agencies, vendors and service providers.
- Local appreciation for the changes enhanced each library's image within the not-yet-disabled sector as well as the currently disabled sector of their communities.
Toolkit for Libraries Planning Accessibility Fairs
Visit the project page for the Toolkit for Libraries Planning Accessibility Fairs
For Future Accessibility Fairs
Contact the following NTRLS Libraries for information about future accessibility fairs:
- Arlington Public Library System
- Bedford Public Library
- Hurst Public Library
- Krum Public Library
- Watauga Public Library
- Wichita Falls Public Library
Library Website Accessibility
In FY2010 the Expanding Accessibility program hired a consultant to review participating public library websites for accessibility. Here are the reports.
More Accessibility Resources
- NTLP's 2011 Homebound Program, its blog and toolkit
- Tech Ability: Making the Web Work for Disabled Surfers (MSNBC Video)
- Accessibility tools available for evaluation at the NTLP Office
- Links to resources for accessibility and special needs
- Accessibility Service Providers and Product Vendors Online Spreadsheet
- NTRLS 2010 Expanding Accessibility in Libraries Pilot Program
- NTRLS 2009 Expanding Accessibility in Libraries Pilot Program
Follow @tweetUnivAccess on Twitter for more about Universal Access.
For more information, contact NTLP.