LIS-S 622 Resources and Services for People with Disabilities
- Prerequisites: LIS-S 500, LIS-S 507
- Delivery: Online
- Semesters offered: Summer (Check the schedule to confirm.)
Access to information is essential for sustained independence of people with disabilities. This course studies materials, services, and assistive technologies to support this access. National and state initiatives related to people with disabilities increasingly stress maximization of their independence, whether in school, employment, or daily living environments. This course will focus on access to information as a critical element to sustained independence. Topics covered will include specific materials, services, and assistive technologies available to meet the needs of various types of disabilities.
Program Learning Goals Supported
Instructors map their courses to specific LIS Program Goals. Mapped program goals drive the design of each course and what students can expect to generally learn.
- Connect Core Values and Professional Ethics to Practice
- Examine Systemic Inequalities to Improve Library and Information Practices through Equitable and Socially Just Interventions
Instructors develop learning outcomes for their courses. Students can expect to be able to achieve the learning outcomes for a given course after successfully completing the course.
- Determine materials and services that are available to support the specific needs of people with various types of disabilities.
- Determine format and equipment modifications (e.g., accessible design, alternative formats, assistive technology) related to universal access to information by people with disabilities.
- Analyze outreach efforts that could be utilized to contact people with various types of disabilities
- Interpret legal issues related to people with disabilities
- Assess the information needs of families of people. with disabilities
Instruction is in Canvas. Lessons are organized into Modules whose length may vary.
Module 1: Introduction to disability & assistive technology | Principle: Laws & History
Towards a definition of disabilities.
Module 2: Disability: Vision & Hearing | Principle: Universal Design & web accessibility
Disabilities related to vision and hearing are considered sensory disabilities. These conditions vary widely from person to person and often defy the stereotypes of people who are considered "blind, visually impaired, Deaf, hard of hearing, or Deaf-Blind".
The last time an automated door opened for you, you read the captions on a television at the gym, or rolled a bike, shopping cart, or baby stroller up a curb cut, you benefitted from Universal Design. The last time you noticed a title when you hovered over an image on a web site, you benefitted from web site accessibility. Although there are a number of assistive technologies to increase the independence of people with disabilities when accessibility barriers appear, there are also a number of design considerations that can help avoid those barriers in the first place. In this module we will explore the concepts of Universal Design and Web accessibility which can help use change the world by removing barriers to accessibility before they appear.
Module 3: Disability: Physical disabilities | Principle: UDL
Physical disabilities are often some of the most apparent disabilities among the general public. We routinely see people in wheelchairs, using canes, crutches, or walkers, and can make some basic assumptions about that person and their disability. The more we become familiar with individuals with disabilities, the more we may realize that our assumptions are incorrect. In this module we get to know several individuals with physical disabilities and gain insight into what their lives are really like. We will also explore some of the assistive technologies that can help to increase independence. Note: In this section we will explore several resources from Australia, a country with a very forward thinking approach to physical disabilities.
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) takes the concept of Universal Design (UD) into the realm of teaching and learning. UDL is based on brain science and, when done correctly, makes learning more universally available to everyone with and without disabilities. UDL also can reduce the need for assistive technology. UDL is practiced most often in K-12 educational institutions but is based on concepts that are applicable for nearly any learning environment.
Module 4: Disability: Autism, Intellectual, Behavior & Learning Disabilities | Principle: AT assessment
Autism, intellectual disabilities, behavioral challenges and learning disabilities are among the most commonly occurring disabilities but sometimes the least understood. They often go unnoticed or misunderstood as simply social phenomena. The diagnosis of Autism has rapidly increased in recent years and is often found in news headlines. In this module we will gain more insight into the lives of people with these categories of disabilities and the technologies and services available to increase their independence.
Having the wrong tool for the job almost always leads to struggle or failure. Selecting the correct assistive technology is critically important to people with disabilities. AT assessments are often done by educators, physical, occupational, or speech therapists, assistive technology professionals or other qualified practitioners. In this module we will develop familiarity with two of the tools that are often used for AT assessments, the SETT framework and the WATI Assessment tool. Then we will complete a mini-AT assessment on a real or hypothetical AT user, with a modified and simplified version of the SETT framework.
Module 5: Disability: Communication | Principle: Advocacy
Communication is essential to life. There are many disabilities in which communication challenges might occur. For the purposes of this module we are going to focus on one of the most prevalent communication methods supported by assistive technology: Augmentative and Alternative Communication; also known as Aug-Comm, AAC, or sometimes among children "talkers".
Disability rights has a long and rich history. As a people, we still have work to do. Advocacy related to disability is about our history as well as understanding the issues and skillful communication.
Module 6: Disability: Multiple disabilities | Principle: Resources
Disability, accessibility, and assistive technology are all fields that continually change. Although the principles don't shift often, the methods in which they are addressed change rapidly. In this module, we will cover a few guidelines for identifying resources as well as some of the more common disability-related resources. Please note that several have been covered in previous modules but will be repeated here in an effort to create a centralized resource; we have certainly not covered them all. It is also worth noting that in many cases, a single individual may have multiple disabilities. In some cases, congenital disabilities occur simultaneously. In other cases, disabilities progress resulting in multiple instances of disabilities (consider vision, neurological, or mobility challenges that might arise from diabetes). In yet other cases, a person with a disability ages and develops additional age-related disabilities. In these cases, multiple-disabilities are the result and present unique considerations.
Policies and Procedures
Please be aware of the following linked policies and procedures. Note that in individual courses instructors will have stipulations specific to their course.