Children with Disabilities in the Library

Imagine that Joey Pigza came into your library.  Would he feel welcome?  How would you provide library service for him?

A child with a disability may need an individual service plan.  But many books or articles provide generalizations and all-encompassing descriptions.  This course will take another approach.  By reading juvenile novels about children with disabilities, we will discover their individual needs.  First, we will examine how schools handle students with disabilities.  Then we will explore ways that the library might be able to assist each child.  We will look at inclusive programming, assistive technologies, staff attitudes and legal considerations.

This course is not intended to be a comprehensive course.  Rather, we will collaboratively develop strategies for determining needs and identify resources that can be consulted when an actual child requires our help. 

This is a six week Moodle course run asynchroniously, meaning you will never need to login to a class on a certain date/time. This course will begin the week of April 6, 2015.

Learning Outcomes

Participants will be able to: 

  • Define a diverse set of disabilities and the limitations that come from having a disability.
  • Indentify and differentiate the needs of students who have disabilities.
  • Select assistive technologies for use in a library setting that are helpful for students with disabilities.
  • Understand the language and the ways that schools document and assist children with disabilities. 
  • Construct a service plan for providing library services to individual children with disabilities.

Who Should Attend

Children’s librarians in public libraries and schools; library paraprofessional and support staff who are working with students and parents.


Katherine (Kate) Todd, Adjunct Instructor, Manhattanville College



Class size is limited to 30 students.

ALSC Personal Member: $115
ALA Personal Member: $165
Nonmember: $185

Member rates apply to personal memberships only.  Interested in joining ALSC?  Click here to learn more about ALSC and how to join.

How to Register

Registration is now open!  Visit the ALA Registration page to register online, or fill out the registration form and mail it in.  You can also register by calling ALA Member and Customer Service at 800-545-2433 ext. 5.  Course space is limited.

Cancellation and Transfer Policy:

Cancellations must be made in writing and postmarked or faxed to the ALA/MACS department by no later than seven days before the class starts.  Cancellations will result in a full refund less a $35 processing fee.  NO phone cancellations will be accepted.  Refunds will be processed two weeks after the start of the course.  ALSC reserves the right to cancel a course for reasons including insufficient numbers of students. Cancellations after the course has begun will not be accepted.

If you are registered but unable to take a course you may transfer your registration to another student if that student falls under the same registration category.  For instance, an ALSC member may transfer her registration to another ALSC member free of charge.  If you would like to transfer your registration to someone in a different category the difference between prices must be paid at the time of transfer.  All requests for registration transfers must be made in writing no later than seven days before the start of the course.  Please address all requests, including the reason for the transfer and both parties' membership numbers, to ALSC Program Officer for Continuing Education, Kristen Sutherland.  Transfers may not be made once a course has started.

Credits or CEUs

This course is certified to provide 3 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to students who pass the course.  A certificate of completion will be sent to each participant upon successful completion for each course taken.

The American Library Association (ALA) has been certified to provide CEUs by the International Association of Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  Individual courses must pass a rigorous certification process by ALA's office of Human Resources Development and Recruitment to be able to provide students with CEUs.  If you have questions about CEUs or course certification, please contact Kristen Sutherland in the ALSC office by phone 800-545-2433 ext. 4026.


If you have questions about the course material, please contact the course instructor Kate Todd.

If you have questions about registration, please contact ALA's Member and Customer Service Department by email or by calling 800-545-2433 ext. 5.

All other inquiries, including sponsorship questions, can be directed to Kristen Sutherland, ALSC Program Officer for Continuing Education or by calling (312) 280-4026.