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May 07, 2021, 08:30 PM

Ready, Willing, & Disabled Librarians: What 2020 Taught Us About Reasonable Accommodations

A talk by Kayla Martin-Gant
Continuing Education Coordinator, Mississippi Library Commission

Millions of people in the United States are affected by chronic conditions, and many of them get little to no accommodations from their workplace to ensure mutual success. 2020 was a rough, intense year for us all, and it also brought to light many of those issues that disabled communities have been pointing out for years. Disclosing and requesting accommodations for disabilities can feel extremely difficult if not impossible--especially when those disabilities are invisible--and many library workers face subtle (and not-so-subtle) penalties for doing so.

The restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic showed us, though, that many of these accommodations are completely feasible--and in some cases, new avenues for reaching patrons were prioritized in a way never seen before.

In this session, we'll examine the experiences of library workers with invisible disabilities, the trouble with resilience culture, and where to go from here.

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