Disability & Innovation: Celebrating the 31st ADA Anniversary

My trip to Chicago was terrific until my flight back to the Bay Area. Any guesses? Of course, it was due to a flight delay. Instead of complaining and annoying my husband about the disruption, I chose to spend my time brainstorming ideas for this blog.

I remembered reading a story about Haben Girma. Haben is an author, speaker, disability rights advocate, and the first deafblind graduate of Harvard Law School. Haben defines disability as an opportunity for innovation. She has pioneered solutions to navigate a world made for sighted and hearing people. Haben developed a text-to-braille communication system that created an exciting new way to connect with people. She also learned non-visual techniques for everything from dancing salsa to handling an electric saw. 

Haben’s experiences got me thinking about two of AC Library's strategic areas of exploration: Innovation and Cultivation and Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion. More importantly, how they support our commitment to recognize the needs of people with disabilities.  

Innovation and Cultivation:

Innovation is the ability of humans to continuously create their desired future. Innovation is something innate to all people, it is about creation, and it is about cultivating a better future—however each person defines that.

Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion:

Equity is a recognition that not everyone has been afforded the same resources, and a commitment to work to remedy this fact. Authentic equality requires conscientious and intentional acts of equity, diversity and inclusion. At AC Library, we commit to honest conversations, and adapting and changing as individuals and as an organization.

ADA and Libraries

On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law. This groundbreaking civil rights law has increased access and opportunity for people with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. 

Before the ADA, libraries were offering alternative materials for people with disabilities. In 1897, the Library of Congress opened a reading room that offered materials in Braille. In 1961, the American Library Association (ALA) wrote a set of standards to ensure people with disabilities were included in public libraries; these standards have been updated many times since.      

AC Library provides materials in a variety of formats for people of all abilities, including Braille, Large Print, Audio Books, eBooks with alternative fonts, and eAudio Books. Visit our Accessibility Services page to learn more and view our eResources Accessibility guide.

Happy Birthday ADA!

List created by ACL_LibertyI

A collection of books to celebrate the ADA's 31st Anniversary.

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