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Libraries and Accessibility: Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

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

Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law in 1990, with additional amendments in 2009. This landmark civil rights law prohibits discrimination based on disability and imposes accessibility requirements on public accommodations, including libraries.The primary government resource on the ADA is www.ada.gov. Title II of the law applies to municipal and state-funded libraries. Title III of the law applies to businesses and non-profits, including association libraries.

ADA Resources

Some resources about the ADA's effect on library buildings and services:

  • Take a look at ALA's page on ADA and libraries.
  • ASCLA, the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies, promotes a policy on Library Services for People with Disabilities.
  • Many links on ASCLA's Resources list apply to patrons with disabilities, elderly patrons, universal access, and website accessibility.
  • ASCLA also has a toolkit for “Library Accessibility –What You Need to Know.” Each "tipsheet was developed to help librarians in all types of libraries understand and manage access issues. These issues include but are not limited to: patrons who have cognitive, mental, or emotional illnesses; patrons with learning and/or developmental disabilities; patrons with service animals; patrons needing assistive technologies; and patrons with physical disabilities."
  • ALA also has a bibliography on library buildings and additions, which integrates information about ADA and universal access. Many of the books on this list are available from the service centers via Primo and Ccar.
  • The CLA ADA Committee maintains a page of resources and websites related to disabilities.

By integrating concepts of Universal Design into your library, you can ensure that buildings and services can be used by the broadest number of people. As Connecticut's population ages, Universal Design is increasingly important. Check out these resources:

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