Disability Inclusion in Library Services


Asian child with disability in wheelchair looking at library books.

To best serve patrons with disabilities, we need to understand their community, culture, and needs. In this on-demand webinar, you will explore disability experiences, how to provide safe and inclusive spaces, and how to serve patrons through programming and collections. Although the examples are youth focused, they can be adapted for any age.

Originally presented October 17, 2023.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Evaluate books about disabled characters for good or harmful representation;
  • Understand how to structure programs to set patrons up for success; and
  • Dispel at least two harmful myths that keep people with disabilities out of community spaces.

Who Should Attend

This on-demand webinar is intended for all public library staff.


Shelley Harris HeadshotShelley Harris is a neurodivergent children’s librarian in Oak Park, IL, with a passion for early literacy, serving and celebrating the disability community, and exploring technology. She has a younger brother with a rare genetic syndrome who has used augmentative communication for thirty years, which inspired her to earn a Bachelors in Speech and Hearing Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She previously worked as a one-to-one paraprofessional with autistic children. Everything she has learned from these experiences is funneled into creating inclusive and engaging library services and spaces for kids and tweens with disabilities, and helping families connect with services in the community. She can often be found practicing storytime songs with her black lab, Bingo.


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 plawebinars@ala.org 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 plawebinars@ala.org or call 800-545-2433 ext. 5PLA (5752).

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