Programming for All Abilities


A PLA 2020 Virtual Conference On-Demand Session

PLA 2020 Virtual Conference logo. Libraries are for everyone. Learn why and how developing programs for patrons with intellectual, cognitive, and/or developmental disabilities will benefit your library. This session discusses how to structure such programs and offer a range of content for audiences from children to adults. Librarians can offer these programs without advanced specialized education; community members and families will respond with enthusiasm and gratitude. Make your library programs for everyone, too.

Originally presented as part of the PLA 2020 Virtual Conference on February 28, 2020.

This session aligns with the pathway for  Public Library Stewards in PLA's Theory of Change for Professional Development. To learn more, please visit

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this on-demand webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Develop and implement (at minimum) a monthly one-hour program for adults with intellectual, cognitive, and/or developmental disabilities;
  • Create and use a visual schedule, a structured craft project and/or a music and movement element in programs for children and teens with intellectual, cognitive, and/or developmental disabilities; and
  • Develop and implement an in-library volunteering opportunity for teens with intellectual, cognitive, and/or developmental disabilities.

Who Should Attend

This on-demand session is intended for those with no previous knowledge of the topic.


The 2019 recipient of NYLA's Moshier/ Wynkopp Award for Distinguished Librarianship, Amy K. Smith believes that if she's having fun, the participants in her programs will, too. A current MLIS student, Smith's past lives were set in a pediatric ER and French convent archives.

Important Registration Information

Log into or create your ALA eLearning account

An ALA eLearning account is required to register. Don’t have an account? Create one for free by going to the “Log in” menu located at the top right corner of your screen. No membership is required to create the account.

Redeem your signup code to complete your registration

Once you’ve registered for this on-demand webinar, a signup code will be added to your ALA eLearning account and emailed to you. Find the signup code on your signup code page, then redeem it on your account’s dashboard to complete your enrollment in this on-demand webinar.

Review the ALA eLearning FAQ if you need more information.


This on-demand webinar is closed captioned in English (United States).

If you have a physical or communication need that may affect your access to this on-demand webinar, please contact us at or 800-545-2433 ext. 5PLA (5752) prior to registering so we can attempt to provide appropriate accommodations.

Tech Requirements

To play this on-demand webinar you should use a browser with native HTML5 support. Please use the most up-to-date version available of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Edge. A fast Internet connection and computer is recommended.


This webinar is presented by the Public Library Association (PLA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).

If you have questions or problems accessing a recording, send a message to or call 800-545-2433 ext. 5PLA (5752).

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