Library services for users with a disability: good
Library services for users with a disability: good practice & CLAUD 'Services For Students With Disabilities, University of London, CPD 25 study day, 10th April 2013. Graeme Barber, Chair of CLAUD Deputy Librarian, Southampton Solent University [email protected] CLAUD: Who are we? Creating Libraries Accessible to Users with
Disabilities A network of higher education libraries who are working to improve library access for disabled users. Main focus is on : Disseminating information on disability issues and HE libraries Establishing good practice CLAUD: Who are we?
Based in South and South-West of England. From four initial member institutions in 1996, now grown to around 25 institutions. Libraries involved are as far west as Falmouth, east to Sussex, north to Gloucester. Areas of interest include:
Physical and web accessibility Service provision issues Alternative formats Understanding disabilities Staff training and awareness raising CLAUD: What we do Liaise with other organisations with an interest in library disability issues, including ALIS Wales, Open Rose and TechDis. Encourage new library and information professionals to develop an interest in disability issues. We worked with the University of the West of
England on embedding disability in their MSc course Offer an annual bursary for UWE students writing a dissertation on disability-related topics e.g. dyslexia support within academic libraries CLAUD: What we do Share problems, advice and information on disability issues in libraries and work towards the development of effective practice. Host members' meetings two / three times a year on topics of common interest. Promote the sharing of information through our JISC email list and the CLAUD wiki site
Provided funding for JISC Techdis research project on alternative formats Recent CLAUD concerns - study day topics Library services for students with dyslexia Developing alternative format and assistive technology services Hidden disabilities Mental health issues Supporting Deaf Students Autism Delivering disability training
Information and support: Good Practice Named staff with dedicated time Targeted induction tours Variety of contact methods important e.g. Texts, email, phone Services information in accessible formats, print and electronic, podcasts Staff awareness of communication issues Support with using specific services e.g. copying, scanning Did you mean? search
Library Loans: Good Practice Longer loans or additional loans some only if approved via disability support Overdue / renewal communication Fines waivers Postal loans Proxy loans Book collection fetch and carry Building and environment:
Good Practice Parking nearby or drop off points Lifts to all floors Automatic doors Ramps in areas with steps
Furniture height adjustable in key areas Toilets accessible facilities Adequate space between shelves and awareness of turning spaces Building and environment: Good Practice Signs / orientation use of colours, & symbols, explanations of stock order, QR codes & links to further information Refuge areas / evacuation procedures Hearing loops, visual alarms Variety of study areas to suit different
needs IT provision : Good Practice Specialist IT areas Specialist Software e.g. Texthelp, Dragon Adjustable Seating & desks CLAUD: Disability training Good practice (study day) Explore training attendees existing knowledge of disability. Use short extracts from the Open Rose DVD to ensure
that the voices of disabled students are heard. Keep the session relevant to staff include local information on disabled student numbers, local procedures, key contacts. Face-to-face training may encourage greater discussion of issues than online training, though a number of Universitys have online equality and diversity training available CLAUD: Disability training Good practice (study day) If your university offers disability awareness training check that the library sessions do not repeat content.
Most induction sessions will focus on disability legislation, and the librarys main policies and procedures. It works best if a disability awareness session is a part of initial library induction for new staff. The training needs of existing staff should also be addressed, often through more detailed sessions on particular impairments / conditions, new assistive technologies etc. Review training each time it is delivered, and add new material as necessary. Conclusion key points
Flexibility important Anticipate needs Balance needs of all users Mainstream provision wherever possible Additional arrangements if needed Promote electronic resources though access issues can be a barrier
Make sure staff are disability aware Consult disabled students Review policies and procedures in order to meet equality and diversity needs Any questions? Contact details: [email protected] CLAUD wiki: https://wiki.brookes.ac.uk/display/CLAUD/H ome
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