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Libraries and Accessibility

Resources on accessibility, the ADA, and services to persons with disabilities.

What is a disability?

As described by the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act, a disability may be physical, developmental, emotional or learning related. It is an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, which are functions that are important to most people’s daily lives. Examples of major life activities are breathing, walking, talking, hearing, seeing, sleeping, caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, and working.

Training Resources for Library Staff

Libraries especially need to expand staff awareness and sensitivity to a more diverse group of library users through training. These resources provide guidance on how to interact with persons with disabilities and how to create appropriate services.

Potential Partners for Libraries

  • The Connecticut Library for Accessible Books (CT LAB), formerly the Connecticut State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH), is a network library of the Library of Congress’ National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS). CT LAB lends books and magazines in audio and braille formats, for free, to any Connecticut resident who is unable to read regular print due to a visual, reading, or physical disability.

  • Disability Rights Connecticut is an independent, nonprofit organization established as the successor entity to Connecticut’s Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities. DRCT works to improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities, their families and the disability community.

  • The Connecticut Department of Aging and Disability Services manages the state's Bureau of Disability Determination Services, Bureau of Education and Services for the Blind, Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, State Unit on Aging, and other bureaus and departments.

  • The Connecticut Tech Act Project (CTTAP) helps to increase independence and improve the lives of individuals with disabilities through increased access to assistive technology for work, school and community living.

  • The State Education Resource Center (SERC) offers assistive technology, library resources, and training to educators, service providers, and families in order to support educational equity and excellence.

  • New England ADA Center (Boston) provides "information, guidance, and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 508, and accessible information technology to individuals living in New England."

  • Americans with Disabilities Act CT (ADACC) promotes ADA compliance. The group is devoted to educating individuals with disabilities, businesses, and governmental entities about the ADA.

  • The Center for Disability Rights "advocates for people with disabilities and their issues on a local, state-wide, and national level. We also provide services to individuals and their families, as well as technical assistance and community education to businesses, government, and members of the community."

  • There are several Centers for Independent Living throughout the state that help with accessibility issues.

  • The Connecticut Association of the Deaf (CAD) promotes, protects, and preserves the rights and quality of life of Deaf and Hard of Hearing citizens of Connecticut.

  • In addition to being a leader in educational programs and services for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, the American School for the Deaf in Hartford offers sign language interpretation services, sign language classes, and mentors.

  • National Federation of the Blind of CT is a nonprofit volunteer membership organization comprised of blind and interested sighted persons of all ages, their families and friends. They help newly blind people adjust to vision loss and promote the full participation and integration of blind people in our communities through the development of skills, confidence, and independence.

  • Connecticut Family Support Network (CTFSN) exists to help families raising children with disabilities and special health care needs.

Sample Policies

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The State of Connecticut is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and strongly encourages the applications of women, minorities, and persons with disabilities.