University of Wisconsin–Madison

The disability community in the library: education, access & advocacy

A welcoming and accessible environment for people with disabilities is crucial to ensure that libraries are truly for everyone; however, the dominant societal narrative promotes disinformation about disability that can keep us from fully embracing and prioritizing people with disabilities in our work. This course will invite participants to examine the dominant societal narrative around disability; consider how that can affect our work both at individual and organizational levels; and become empowered to advocate for the disability community in their library.

At a glance

When: Jul 13 – Aug 23, 2020

Where: Online

Cost: $250 (10% discount if you register at least 2 weeks in advance)

CE Credit: 2.0 CEUs/20 LEUs

Program: #304021

Questions? Contact Meredith Lowe or Anna Palmer

Register online

Register by phone: Pyle Center, (608) 262-2451

Register by mail: Print a Registration Form

Login information will be emailed to you a few days before the course begins.

Course description


  • The abled narrative and how it colors our approach to people with disabilities
  • The history of the Americans with Disabilities Act and its impact on the disability community
  • An introduction to using Universal Design to consider your space and services
  • General tips for working with children and families with disabilities at the reference desk and at programs
  • Evaluating books on the disability community for problematic content
  • Advocating for the disability community as patrons and employees at your library


S. Bryce Kozla is a youth services librarian at Washington (OR) County Cooperative Library Services. It took her over 30 years to overcome her internalized ableism and become a vocal member of the disability community in libraries.