Accomodating people with disabilities

It was created to eliminate discrimination in many areas, including access to private and public services, employment, transportation and communication.

Most libraries are covered by the ADA’s Title I (Employment), Title II (Government Programs and Services) and Title III (Public Accommodations).

Most libraries are also obligated under Section 504 and some have responsibilities under Section 508 and other laws as well.

Libraries must not discriminate against individuals with disabilities and shall ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal access to library resources.

Libraries must provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities unless the library can show that the accommodations would impose an “undue hardship” on its operations.

Depending on the community being served, libraries may include related medical, health, and mental health information and information on legal rights, accommodations, and employment opportunities.The American Library Association recognizes that people with disabilities are a large and neglected minority in the community and are severely underrepresented in the library profession. In addition, many people with disabilities face economic inequity, illiteracy, cultural isolation, and discrimination in education, employment and the broad range of societal activities.Libraries play a catalytic role in the lives of people with disabilities by facilitating their full participation in society.The ADA requires that modifications to communications must be provided as long as they are “reasonable,” do not “fundamentally alter” the nature of the goods or services offered by the library, or result in an “undue burden” on the library.Library materials must be accessible to all patrons including people with disabilities.

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