Authored by: Lori Bell

Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, Fourth Edition

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781466552593
eBook ISBN: 9781315116143
Adobe ISBN:


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Although libraries have come a long way in making their spaces, places, and Web sites in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), there are still issues and challenges in providing services and materials to individuals who have a physical challenge or disability. This entry looks at traditional services and materials libraries have offered and also new technologies libraries should consider for serving this population. Because the ADA was passed almost 20 years ago, it did not really address the Internet and the World Wide Web. The ADA is a civil rights law to prevent discrimination because of disability. Disability is defined as “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.” The ADA requires places and services for the public to be accessible, but there is no specific reference to the Internet as a public place of accommodation for people with disabilities. This is where Section 508 of the U.S. Code comes in. This entry will discuss specific ways in which libraries are complying with the ADA and Section 508 and where progress needs to be made.

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