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Sunday, May 15 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Poster Session 1: Poster Board Number 117

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Poster Board Number: 117
Title: Library Services for People with Disabilities Twenty Years after the Americans with Disabilities Act: A Survey Updated
Objective: In recognition of the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), this survey updates the progress and reflects the status of library services for people with disabilities since the Nelson study in 1995. This survey will address the major advances in technology as well as physical access in academic health sciences libraries for people with disabilities.
Method: A survey was compiled of original questions from Nelson's work published in the Bulletin of the Medical Library Association in 1996. Additional questions were added to the survey regarding the accessibility of technological changes that have occurred in the past fifteen years. A Google docs survey link was sent with a letter of explanation via two emails, in November 2010 and January 2011, to the email discussion list of the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL). Once responses were received, the data were evaluated to review how accessible health sciences libraries are today for people with disabilities compared to the 1995 responses.
Results: Based on the 24% response rate from the approximate 140 members of AAHSL, their libraries have progressed in eliminating physical barriers for persons with disabilities and staffs are more aware of the needs of persons with disabilities. The accessibility of technology from the library has been addressed in ways that are cost effective and relatively easy, for example, instruction documents on web pages are available in HTML format instead of only PDF. However, libraries seem to be reactive rather than proactive to making changes to services. This may be the case for several reasons, including costs and number of patrons with a need. Planning for persons with disabilities is primarily handled by the campus office for students with disabilities, but the budgeting for services is the responsibility of the library.
Author: Christine A. Willis, Student, Certificate of Advanced Study in Health Sciences Librarianship, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, and Librarian, Noble Learning Resource Center, Shepherd Center, Atlanta, GA

Sunday May 15, 2011 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Exhibit Hall A - Minneapolis Convention Center

Attendees (8)

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