Resources for Creating Access

The following resources are ones that I personally recommend and are not a comprehensive list of available resources on this topic.

The resources on this page focus on general professional development. For specific resources on signing with children in storytime or the classroom, click here.

Access: Post-Production/Offline Captioning Module: This free 2-hour online learning module from the Described and Captioned Media Program reviews guidelines for captions, discusses laws pertaining to captioning, and compares various methods of creating captions.  It also includes video examples and practice captioning simulations. Participants who successfully complete the training may download and print a file issued by DCMP that verifies completion of two hours of training.

ADA National Network: Through a network of ten regional centers, the ADA National Network offers training opportunities and guidance in matters related to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Best Practices for Wearing Masks When Communicating with Deaf and Hard of Hearing People: A guide in ASL and English from the National Association of the Deaf

Described and Captioned Media Program: Funded by the U.S. Department of Education and administered by the National Association of the Deaf, the DCMP provides services designed to support and improve the academic achievement of students who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind. Services include a library of free-loan described and captioned educational media available to students who are deaf, blind, hard of hearing, visually impaired, or deaf-blind and the educators who serve them, a free online learning center of information related to education, accessibility, deafness, blindness, and other related topics, and a free gateway that allows users to selectively search across DCMP’s entire clearinghouse of accessibility-related articles.

Dos and Don’ts on Designing for Accessibility by Karwai Pun (Accessibility in Government): A set of printable posters from the government of the United Kingdom describing design principles that promote accessibility for users from these areas: low vision, D/deaf and hard of hearing, dyslexia, motor disabilities, users on the autistic spectrum and users of screen readers.

8 Tips for Making Storytimes Accessible by Kathy MacMillan: Simple ways to make your storytimes more inclusive for children of differing needs and abilities.

Guidelines for Effective Communication with Deaf, Late-Deafened, and Hard of Hearing People: This guide from the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing offers concrete tips for improving communication before, during, and after interactions.

Project ENABLE: A partnership between the Center for Digital Literacy, the School of Information Studies (iSchool@Syracuse) and the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University, this project provides free online training modules designed for public, academic and school librarians to help them make their libraries truly inclusive for all users.

Read Captions Across America: A project of the Described and Captioned Media Program, Read Captions Across America is held in conjunction with the National Education Association’s Read Across America event every year on or around March 2. The purpose of Read Captions Across America is to raise awareness—particularly among children and their parents and teachers—that video-based media can be just as effective at encouraging and fostering reading skills as books, as long as captions are always turned on! Order a FREE toolkit, including posters, bookmarks, and certificates here.

Special Needs Communication Guide: A handy printable resource you can keep at service desks to assist in communicating with patrons who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing, speak Spanish, or have limited communication skills. This 21-page communication guide was put together by The Library of Fanwood and Scotch Plains (New Jersey, USA), and contains English, Spanish, and fingerspelled words, as well as pictures for common concepts and items in the library setting.