Core Classroom: Designed with You in Mind: Welcoming Patrons and Staff with Disabilities in Your Library

In this workshop, you will learn to navigate the many facets libraries can employ to serve patrons of all ages with disabilities, both physical and intellectual. In this session, we will address the basic how-tos of beginning or expanding services to patrons with disabilities as well as a look at community collaboration, grant writing, needs assessments, Universal Design, emerging technology, and practical applications of services (i.e. programs, outreach, and virtual services) to meet the needs of this underserved population.


Week 1: Introduction/Ableism

Week 2: Technology/Universal Design

Week 3: Budget/Grants

Week 4: Practical Applications

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, attendees will be able to:

  • Participants will identify and combat internalized and systemic ableism. 
  • Participants will gain practical knowledge and tools, including identifying grants and community resources to plan for sustainability. 
  • Participants will build awareness of physical/tangible and technology/virtual accessibility

Who Should Attend

To staff at all levels of library service and administration in public, academic and school library settings. 


Lesley McLane 

I am the Library Services Specialist at Goshen College in Northern Indiana.  I work to promote library services and information literacy to faculty and staff.  I also work with the Academic Success Center to ensure students with disabilities have equal access to their education. This can include working with assistive technology, creating captions for instructors and campus events, meeting with students one on one to plan for the semester, provide audiobooks or text-to-speech textbooks, and advocating for these students to both faculty and the administration.

Prior to my work at Goshen College, I worked in public libraries for 12 years both in Northern Indiana and with the Arapahoe Libraries south of Denver, Colorado. In public libraries, I advocated for patrons with disabilities, worked with administration to add inclusivity for patrons with disabilities to the strategic plan, created outreach services, and implemented in-library programs for this underserved population.