Online course: The Disability Community in the Library

The school year is right around the corner, so it's a great time to sign up for class! This fall, S. Bryce Kozla will be teaching a six-week online course called "The Disability Community in the Library: Education, Access, and Advocacy" for the University of Wisconsin-Madison iSchool Continuing Education program.

Different from most courses that focus on how-to's, Bryce's lesson is about recognizing internal bias and and becoming an advocate for the disability community. According to the course description:

Public libraries have taken great strides to become “the great equalizer,” yet our discussions about equity often leave out or misrepresent one of the largest vulnerable populations in the world—the disability community.

This course will introduce participants to the abled/neurotypical narrative, challenge our misconceptions about the disability community, and explore ways to make your library a more accessible place to visit and work.

The course runs from Nove…

Adaptive Umbrella 2018 workshop

Our friends at Bloomfield (MI) Public Library are doing amazing work for children with disabilities, and we're all invited to attend their biennial Adaptive Umbrella workshop.

This day-long workshop is geared towards librarians, educators, and caregivers working with youth who have special needs (including some great ideas and resources for inclusion of teens and adults with disabilities).

Date: April 25, 2018, 9am-3:30pm

Place: Bloomfield Township Public Library, 1099 Lone Pine Road, Bloomfield Township, MI 48302

Price: $25 including lunch
Register online by April 16.

Program Highlights:
Dr. Clayton Copeland (Faculty & Director of the Laboratory for Leadership in Equity and Diversity, University of South Carolina) will present on making your library services, collections, and programming more accessible for people of all ages.Child development specialist and award-winning children’s musician, Jim Gill, will show us how to add music to our programs that is inclusive of youth with sp…

Spring 2018 Targeting Autism Forum

Registration for the 2018 Targeting Autism Forum is now open! This fourth and final two-day intensive will take place in Springfield, Illinois on Thursday, May 17 and Friday, May 18, 2018. 

Suzanne Schriar and Russ Bonanno will kick off the two-day forum and introduce the keynote speakers:

Susan Senator
Journey Into Autism Adulthood: Creative Insights & Strategies for a Fulfilling Life

Gyasi Burks-Abbott, Stephanie Diorio, Erin Miller, Charlie Remy and Mitch Silverman
Librarians on the Spectrum: On Helping Make Libraries Inclusive

Morénike Giwa Onaiwu
At the Intersection of Being Black, Female and Autistic

Amanda Marti
Building Community Engagement

Samuel Senyo Dogoe
Autism & Libraries in Ghana

Kerry Magro
Journey to Adulthood on the Spectrum

Nancy Bolt
Advocating That All Be Served: the U.N., IFLA, A Survey and Library Service to People with Disabilities

Sujin Huggins
Autism & Libraries in Trinidad

Kathy Claybough, Cathy Hoffman, Holly Jin, Julie Ozier, and Deb Sherrick
Panel: Coll…

Diversability programs at the 2017 Illinois Library Association Conference

It's officially fall, and that means it's time for sharing and learning at the annual Illinois Library Association Conference! If you are registered for Rise Up! October 10-12 in Tinley Park, aim to attend these sessions focused on serving young people with disabilities.


Assisting People with Disabilities, 1:30-2:30pm (JJ Pionke, UIUC)
This session will highlight some of the work that has been going on at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in terms of reaching out to and assisting people with disabilities (physical, mental, sensory). This session will also include a practical discussion for empowering libraries to go beyond American with Disabilities Act compliance including walking your building, using User Experience techniques, and refining services.

Be an Advocate: Create Volunteer Opportunities for Young Adults with Disabilities, 2:45-3:45pm (Dawn Wlezien, Skokie Public Library)
Our message to people with disabilities is that the library is a …

Developing Inclusive Library Services to Teens with Disabilities webinar

The 2017-2018 school year has officially begun, so let's get our learning on! Be sure to register for this free webinar as there are only 100 spaces available.

Developing Inclusive Library Services to Teens with Disabilities
Wednesday, September 20, 2017, 10:00-11:00am (CST)
Presented by Renee Grassi
Hosted by Minitex, An Information and Resource Sharing Program of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and the University of Minnesota Libraries.

Public libraries have a mission to serve and include all members of the community, including teens with disabilities. Librarian and advocate Renee Grassi will show how you can develop a comprehensive plan to welcome teens with disabilities at your library. In this workshop, attendees will learn about collections and technologies for teens with disabilities, innovative programs ideas, and suggestions for outreach and forging partnerships in the community. Participants will also learn how to develop best practices for building relationships …

Renee Grassi to receive the Alexander J. Skrzypek Award

Renee Grassi, co-founder of SNAILS, friend, and mentor to many of our members, has been selected to receive the 2017 Alexander J. Skrzypek Award!

Presented by the Illinois Library Association and the Illinois State Library in honor of Alexander J. Skrzypek (1905-1976) -- the first librarian for the blind at the Chicago Public Library -- the award is given to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of library services for the blind or physically disabled in Illinois.

We know first hand how Renee's work has impacted libraries and communities across the state of Illinois, so we nominated her for the award! Read ILA's press release to learn about Renee's award-winning efforts to make Illinois libraries more inclusive to children with disabilities.

The Alexander J. Skrzypek Award Award will be presented to Renee at the Awards Luncheon held on Tuesday, October 10, during the 2017 Illinois Library Association Annual Conference in Tinley Park. If you …

Get your ADA questions answered at our next SNAILS meeting!

Our summer meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 30 at Deerfield Public Library. Please plan to arrive close to 9:00am for morning treats and networking. Our business will begin promptly at 9:30am.

This month, we have the privilege of hearing from Robin Jones, the Director of the Great Lakes ADA Center. Robin will be giving an overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act as it relates to local government (i.e. public libraries). Her presentation is jam-packed with legal and practical information, so this is a great meeting for library staff at all service levels to attend.

In order to the make the presentation as relevant as possible, Robin would like to know what type of scenarios you experience when serving (or not being equipped to serve) people with disabilities. If you ever wanted to ask an ADA expert a question about legal requirements, best practices, or "what to do if..." this is your chance!

Even if you can't make it to the meeting, please share your exp…