Promoting Full Utilization of Library Resources for Students & Patrons with Disabilities: A Conceptual Approach
This exploratory conceptual research highlights federal mandates, policies, and principles that protect the rights of library users with disabilities. According to (ASGCLA, 2019, para. 2), persons with disabilities can be impacted by “economic inequity, illiteracy, cultural isolation, discrimination in education and employment” while participating in various daily activities. In December 2018 it was reported that 40.7 million Americans were living with disabilities (U.S. Census Bureau, 2018, July 26). Given the vast number of Americans with disabilities, library science professionals will appreciate the urgency for maintaining convenient, accessible, and welcoming environments in libraries for persons with disabilities. The goal of the authors was to present an operating framework for removing barriers, thus promoting inclusions and positive library experiences for this population of users. The literature confirms the important role of legislation and policy in protecting the rights of library users, and how such mandates serve as a platform for current initiatives and strategies. The authors conceptualize how certain dynamics could either promote or impede the use of library services and resources by patrons with disabilities.