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#DisabilityPrideMonth

CW: Ann Magill, designer of the Disability Pride flag, recently wrote, “It has recently come to my attention that, even with desaturated colors, this flag design can, when viewed online (especially while scrolling), create a strobe effect, and pose a risk for people with epilepsy, and migraine sufferers. I (and others) are currently working on a safe alternative.” A visual of the Disability Pride flag is included in this post.

Did you know that July is National Disability Pride Month?

Thursday marks the 31-year anniversary of the signing into law of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination against disabled people and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as non-disabled people. But how accessible are our classrooms and school libraries? Are we keeping disabled patrons in mind as we plan public library programs, both in-person and virtual?

Last summer, ALSC released a Virtual Storytime Services Guide (VSS Guide) to help members navigate virtual library programming in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the sections of the VSS Guide, Serving Diverse Children and Families, contains a subsection on Children and Families with Disabilities (a link to this subsection and more can be found on page 2 of the Serving Diverse Children and Families section). Much of the information in this subsection can be applied to work in both school and public library settings, and for virtual and in-person programs and instruction. Reminding us that “accessibility is everyone’s responsibility,” the VSS Guide to Serving Children and Families with Disabilities touches on program (or instruction) content, management, messaging, and presentation, with a special note on captioning and audio description for virtual presentation.

It may be too late in the month to create a display or present a program in honor of Disability Pride Month, but we owe it to our patrons (and students) to make our programs and instruction accessible to all students. Many of us need to educate ourselves in order to do so; the VSS Guide is a great place to start.

A charcoal grey/almost-black flag crossed diagonally from top left to bottom right by a “lightning bolt” band divided into parallel stripes of five colors: light blue, yellow, white, red, and green. There are narrow bands of the same black between the colors. Description ends.
The Disability Pride Flag is used with permission of designer Ann Magill.

In a post for the American Foundation for the Blind, Dr. Carlie Rhoads writes, “The [Disability Pride Flag] has a black background and diagonally across the flag are five zigzag lines colored blue, yellow, white, red, and green. The lines are considered to be a lightning bolt and each color represents something unique about the disability community. The flag was created to encompass all disabilities and was designed by Ann Magill member of the disability community. [sic] The black background represents the suffering of the disability community from violence and also serves as a color of rebellion and protest. The lightning bolt represents how individuals with disabilities must navigate barriers, and demonstrates their creativity in doing so. The five colors represent the variety of needs and experiences: Mental Illness, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Invisible and Undiagnosed Disabilities, Physical Disabilities, and Sensory Disabilities.”

Today’s post was written by Sam Bloom, a Programming Librarian at the Kenton County Public Library in northern Kentucky and member of the AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee on School/Public Library Cooperation. Sam can be reached at sibloom24@gmail.com.

A charcoal grey/almost-black flag crossed diagonally from top left to bottom right by a “lightning bolt” band divided into parallel stripes of five colors: light blue, yellow, white, red, and green. There are narrow bands of the same black between the colors. Description ends.

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