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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.
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.
Training for Library Staff:
Sign Language Interpreters:
For sign language interpreters, call 2-1-1, or visit www.211ct.org and search for “Sign Language Interpretation.” TTY: 800-671-0737. The Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) will continue to monitor and post a statewide Interpreter Registry. All sign language interpreters working for compensation in Connecticut must satisfy the mandates of established law CT General Statute Sec. 46a-33a, including annual registration with DORS and submission of documented credentials, including certification by a nationally recognized board.
Live captioning of events:
In Connecticut, live real-time captioning is available for free through Sprint Relay with at least 48 hours notice. Either the program planner or participant can request the service.
Accessible Print Materials:
Developing Services for Patrons with Disabilities:
These state agencies and nonprofits provide services for persons with disabilities and can advise libraries on how to adapt services and programs to include all patrons:
- The Connecticut Library for Accessible Books (CTLAB) s a statewide service that provides reading material for anyone with a visual or print disability (those "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 Coalition of Connecticut (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.p
West Hartford Library Accessibility page
Information about building accessibility, Assistive Technology devices available at the library, homebound service, and service to nursing homes, with a link to a list of DVDs with audio description.
Simsbury Library Accessibility Accommodation Request Form
The Library provides accommodations by request for physical access, communications, or other needs to ensure services, activities, and programs are available to people with disabilities. To request an accommodation, patrons must fill out the form online and submit it to the library.
Books on Services to Patrons
These books are available from the library service centers through our catalog:
Making the Library Accessible for All by This book is intended to be a single-source guide relevant to all library functions that librarians can easily refer to when planning, remediating, or evaluating for accessibility. Includes chapters on web accessibility and technology accessibility.
Publication Date: 2014-04-15
Making Libraries Accessible by Library Technology reports v.48 no.7 "Making Libraries Accessible: Adaptive Design and Assistive Technology" informs readers about how to make libraries digital content, computers, and other devices accessible to people with disabilities. The report presents an overview of demographics, regulations, and types of disability needs as well as associated assistive technology. It also lists and compares specific assistive technology products and assesses accessibility for library collections, including various e-book file formats, e-readers, and databases. Drawing from W3Cs Web Accessibility Guidelines, the report advises on development and design principles for an accessible website.
Publication Date: 2012-10-01
Including Families of Children with Special Needs by Legislation has focused attention on the integration of children with special needs into the community. The contributors to this guide offer advice on how to make all sectors of the population feel welcome in a traditional library setting."
Publication Date: 2013-07-01
Library Services for Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder by Autism is now the second most commonly diagnosed serious developmental disability, and the number of children identified as autistic continues to grow. Introducing what autism spectrum disorder is, and identifying the great need to build and manage programs for autistic youth, Farmer offers librarians in or outside a school environment all the information they need to build a library literacy program geared towards these children. Designed to both awaken sensitivities of library staff and address the questions of those who are already aware of the issue, this book *Shows how autistic children are increasingly mainstreamed into traditional library and school programs and identifies the special needs and issues they face in a library setting *Equips readers to meet the needs of young autistic library users with practical tools for training library staff, teachers, and volunteers *Incldes a glossary of terms and bibliography of additional resources
Publication Date: 2013-02-01
Hey, I know of a resource you should add to this page!
If you know of a great resource that should be included in the Libraries and Accessibility pages, please contact Maria Bernier, Maria.Bernier@ct.gov.
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