I am attending the LILAC 2023 conference in Cambridge. I was last at LILAC delivering a keynote on digital capability when it was in Dublin in 2016.
The keynote on the second day was Accessibility – what does it mean for libraries and education?
Interestingly the session was pre-recorded in advance and the session on the day was a fully fledged Q&A session.
When you hear the word accessibility what initially comes to mind? What about accessibility in relation to libraries and education? How about how neurodivergent users in particular are impacted by accessibility, and their accessibility needs?
Accessibility is a broad area that in relation to education and libraries can cover access to and use of spaces, service design, access to and use of resources, digital accessibility and technologies, document design, and accessible approaches to teaching.
Neurodivergent is a term that can be defined to mean people whose neurotype differs from those considered to be neurotypical, with all neurotypes sitting under the umbrella term of neurodiversity (Verywell Mind). Neurodivergent is an umbrella term itself that can be used when referring to, but not limited to, autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, Tourette’s, OCD and more.
This keynote speech will touch on some of the key accessibility issues impacting educational settings and libraries, with a particular focus on accessibility in the context of neurodivergency. It aims to encourage attendees to more consciously assess and explore your own personal accessibility practices and those of your workplace, in order to improve accessibility practices.
I did a sketchnote of the Q&A session.
I was a little depressed to see that accessibility is still an issue, despite years of discussion about this topic and how universities can make what they do more accessible. In many ways technology has made some of this much easier.