Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Resolution Concerning Accessibility of ALA Conferences and Meetings for People with Disabilities

ALA conferences are great places to connect with other librarians from around the country and the world. For those with disabilities; however, ALA conferences can be troublesome. Stories abound about sessions that are blocks or miles apart without enough transportation, especially transportation for those in wheelchairs or other mobile devices. Having spent 5 weeks on a knee walker myself almost two years ago, I can't imagine having to negotiate ALA in such a manner. There was even a story about a speaker at a previous conference who indicated they needed a podium and mike that was wheelchair accessible and got to their speaking venue to discover several steps (and no ramp) up to the speakers' platform and no accommodations had been made. ALA councilors discussed this issue and the best way for council to get some action taken through several meetings. We finally came up with a resolution that establishes a Conference Accessibility Task Force with several goals the task force needs to accomplish. This is a rather important resolution so I will include more information in this post that I have in the others.

You can go to the resolution (linked here) to see all the whereas clauses but I am including the resolved clause here:

Resolved, that the American Library Association, on behalf of its members:

Establish and charge a Conference Accessibility Task Force to:

1.    Collect data from ALA Members and conference attendees with disabilities;
2.    Establish methods for reviewing and addressing accessibility grievances;
3.    Draft guidelines for review of contracts to ensure ADA and WCAG            compliance;
4.    Research best practices for accessibility training and makes a                     recommendation for implementation;
5.    Report progress to Council during the ALA Annual Conference 2016 and ALA Midwinter 2017 and;

6.    Make a final report to Council with recommendations during ALA Annual   Conference 2017 in Chicago

This task force has been created and will begin work soon if they haven't already.

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