Spring 2016 Professional Development Opportunities

One of the best things about working in libraries are the many avenues for feeding our need to learn and improve our services. In addition to our quarterly SNAILS meeting on May 11 at Mount Prospect Library, there are a number of upcoming learning opportunities on the topic of serving people with disabilities this spring.


If you're attending the inaugural Illinois Youth Services Institute (IYSI) in Normal, Illinois April 1-2, you may want to check out the following programs:

Enhancing Stories with Sensory Experiences presented by our friends at Lekotek

All Are Welcome: Practicing Inclusion and Accessibility presented on Saturday afternoon by yours truly, Renee Grassi and Holly Jin. Renee and I are pretty pumped about our session, as this is our first hands-on workshop!

You may also want to consider attending Tactile Tech: Adventures in Making Technology Accessible to Children and Families since new technologies are known to level the playing field for children with disabilities.

Just after IYSI, the Public Library Association (PLA) is hosting its always-amazing bi-annual conference. PLA 2016 is taking place in Denver, Colorado April 5-9. We hope some of you will be able to attend our presentation on Thursday entitled Accessibility from Every Angle where we'll talk about customer service strategies, tackle the topic of Universal Design for Learning, and address the need for multi-format collections. Later that same day, the talented library staff from Anythink Libraries will present a program called AnyAbility: Taking Ordinary Services for Adults with Disabilities to an Extraordinary Level.


The Arms Open Wide: Library Outreach to Customers with Print Disabilities webinar on March 6 is offered through the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) and focuses on ideas for serving those with vision impairments or reading disabilities. The webinar will share outreach strategies and a toolkit for reaching people with print disabilities at your library.

On May 18, the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) will host Accessibility in Action. Although the target audience for this webinar is academic librarians, the presenter will discuss Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and its role in accessibility.

One more source for webinars is Infopeople.org where you can view new and archived webinars for free! We discovered some older webinars on our beloved topic that we think might be worth viewing: Inclusive Library Programs for People with Intellectual Disabilities and Disability Accommodations for the Public.

If you know of other professional development opportunities, please share them by posting a comment. Happy learning!