Talking about Accessibility at the ILA Annual Conference
It's that time of year when members of the Illinois Library Association convene to network with colleagues, discover innovative strategies to apply to librarianship, and learn about new resources on the exhibit floor! For those of you traveling to Rosemont for the 2016 ILA Annual Conference, you might be interested in the following meetings and sessions focused on topics of accessibility and serving people with disabilities in libraries.  For more information about other programs and sessions at this conference, consult the Conference Schedule available here.

Becoming a Dementia-Friendly Library: Serving Patrons with Dementia
Tuesday, October 18 at 10:45 am
Libraries can be a vital part of the Dementia Friendly America initiative that is sweeping the nation. Find out how Illinois libraries are already engaging people with dementia. Our presentation will include a brief overview on dementia, presented by the Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter.  It will also include a panel of librarians from Ela Public Library, Gail Borden Library, and the American Library Association's Alzheimer's and Related Demetias Interest Group. Learn about Ela's 20 year success at providing a "Read-a-Loud" program to a skilled nursing center using poetry, stories, a therapy dog and more. Hear about Gail Borden Library’s "Tales and Travel," an innovative hands-on book and reading program that has been successfully implemented at memory care facilities. 

Creating an "Autism-Friendly" Library to Support Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder 
Wednesday, October 19 at 2 pm
Have you wondered how to make library services and programs more accessible to persons with autism spectrum disorder? Come to this training session to learn how! This interactive session will review current information and research on autism spectrum disorder (ASD), identify characteristics commonly associated with the disorder, and share strategies to support persons with autism in a library setting. Strategies reviewed include ideas for environmental adaptations (e.g., adapted lighting options, designation of quiet spaces, etc.), visual supports (e.g., information, directions, schedule, communication cards, etc.) and program modifications (e.g., structure of program/activities, sensory supports, visual supports, transitions, etc.).

Special Needs/Special Programs: Engaging Children and Adults with Special Needs
Thursday, October 20 at 11:15 am
Ever wonder what programs you can provide for patrons with special needs? Not sure where to begin? Hear how we started story times, movie matinees, and SMILE (Special Monday in the Library Event) at the Warren-Newport Public Library, and how you can get started serving this special population. You will take away resources, programming ideas, and the confidence that you can provide programs for individuals with special needs at your library.

Functionally Diverse in the Library
Thursday, October 20 at 3:15 pmFrom the grandmother with the failing eyesight to the child overwhelmed by the children's play area to the student struggling to read, all of these people have one thing in common: a hidden disability. The focus of this session is to discuss disability, hidden and not, and how the library can better reach out to and assist this often ignored population.


  1. Ugh, I'm going to miss it all! Hey SNAILS folks, can we get four volunteers to attend these sessions and write blog posts about them?


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