Where Are Disability and Accessibility in Library and Information Science Curricula?
Keywords:Accessibility, Disability, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion
While serving all library patrons is a core value of librarianship, patrons with disabilities are often overlooked. A contributing factor to this reality is that many graduates of Library and Information Science (LIS) programs feel ill-equipped to serve disabled patrons. This works-in-progress poster presents preliminary results from an analysis of 241 syllabi from 76 North American LIS programs to determine how often accessibility and disability topics are covered in curricula. The analysis also considers how courses prepare students to effectively advocate for and implement accessibility within their professional practice. Preliminary results indicate that accessibility and disability topics are infrequently covered in foundational or required courses. Consequently, students may never develop accessibility competencies during their programs of study. Preliminary recommendations include creating or revising learning objectives and assessments to prioritize accessibility education. Offering required and elective courses that incorporate service-learning and hands-on experience in topics such as user-centered design, accessible facilities and programming, and services to disabled patrons is critical.
Copyright (c) 2023 Clayton Copeland, Rea, Kevin, Jackie, Evan
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