What are some considerations regarding library staff who may work with visitors with disabilities?
Libraries should take steps to assure that their facilities, resources, and services are accessible to patrons with disabilities. To prepare library staff to work with individuals who have disabilities, address the following questions:
- Are staff aware of issues related to communicating with students of different races/ethnicities, and ages, and students who have disabilities? (See What are some hints for communicating with individuals who have disabilities?)
- Are staff trained in the use of telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD/TTY) and adaptive computer technology provided in the library? Are there regular refresher courses to help staff keep their skills up to date?
- Are staff trained in policies and procedures for providing accommodations to patrons with disabilities?
- Are staff knowledgeable of other organizations, such as federally funded talking book and Braille libraries, that provide information services to patrons with disabilities?
- Do public services staff wear large-print name badges?
- If there are staff members with sign language skills, are they identified to other staff members so that, when available, they can assist patrons who are deaf?