The American Library Association recognizes that people with disabilities are a large and neglected minority in the community and are severely underrepresented in the library profession. Disabilities cause many personal challenges. In addition, many people with disabilities face economic inequity, illiteracy, cultural isolation, and discrimination in education, employment and the broad range of societal activities. (ALA Policy B.9.3.2 , “Library Services for People with Disabilities”)
Libraries play a catalytic role in the lives of people with disabilities by facilitating their full participation in society. Libraries should use strategies based upon the principles of universal design to ensure that library policy, resources, and services meet the needs of all people.
The ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS) provides the assistance and tools to librarians in order to provide the highest level of service to their patrons with disabilities. This website features resources and tools aimed at facilitating library outreach to these patrons – including ALA-based resources.
- Association of Specialized Government and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASGCLA) Library Services for Special Populations and their Caregivers Committee
- ASGCLA Light the Way Grant
- ASGCLA Professional Tools - Standards and Guidelines - Resource list
ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services
50 East Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60611-2798
(800) 545-2433, ext. 4294