Accessible Signage for Your Library

  July 31, 2022 |    Jennifer Thompson, Research Assistant, Project ENABLE

Navigation is incredibly important for giving patrons with disabilities the agency to find their own way around your library. When designing appropriate signs for your library, it is essential to remember accessibility. In this Blog post, we will look at some of the different types of signs and how they play an important role in helping patrons with disabilities use the library. We will also discuss ADA signage requirements as well as a useful signage tip called The Pinky Test.

Disability and Innovation: Scientists with Disabilities who Changed the World

  April 03, 2022 |    Jennifer Thompson, Research Assistant, Project ENABLE

"Throughout history, scientists have made incredible inventions and discoveries. When you think of famous scientists of the past and present, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, or Albert Einstein might come to mind. But did you know that each of these scientists had a disability? Thomas Edison was deaf in one ear and hard of hearing in the other. Nikola Tesla had an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Albert Einstein, arguably one of the most famous scientists of the 20th century, was dyslexic."

Augmented and Virtual Technologies: A New Path for Education and Teaching Empathy

  November 16, 2021 |    Suzanne Schriar: Guest Blogger, Associate Director, Library Automation & Technology PI, Targeting Autism, IMLS Grant Project, Illinois State Library

For over three decades, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have been ubiquitous in the world of gaming. Increasingly, these technologies have become more widely applied in educational settings. The following information provides an explanation of AR and VR, their use in schools, libraries, as well as their value for teaching empathy and potential applications within Project ENABLE.

Can Small Changes Produce Big Impacts? You Bet They Can!!!

  July 07, 2021 |    Ruth V. Small, Ph.D., Director, Project ENABLE, Syracuse University

"Project ENABLE has provided training for more than 5,000 librarians and our resources have been used by thousands more. As we conclude our 5th and latest Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grant from IMLS in support of our work at Project ENABLE, we have been able to add a number of new resources to our website, with more to come. Our most recent additions to our Resources database include 26 Challenge Videos in which librarians nationwide share some of their greatest challenges to inclusivity and accessibility for people with disabilities and the successful solutions they have developed to meet those challenges. We also added two dozen pathfinders, short lists of the best resources on a number of topics, in printable format for bookmarks that can be handed out to your patrons."

Meeting the Challenge: What Librarians are Doing to Better Serve Their Patrons with Disabilities

  May 26, 2021 |    Marilyn P. Arnone, co-PI, Project ENABLE

"Sometimes, getting started on incorporating Universal Design and Universal Design for Learning principles into library facilities and into the programs and services for library patrons can be overwhelming. So, the Project ENABLE team reached out to its community, libraries, to learn about some of the creative and successful ways library staff are meeting these challenges, making their library spaces more accessible, and creating programming and services that are more inclusive for their patrons with disabilities. We found a variety of librarians, working in public, school and academic libraries located throughout the country, who were accomplishing a lot, often with very little or no funding and willing to share their ideas and results with the entire library community....."

A Rich Partnership

  February 07, 2021 |    Guest Blogger: Eileen O’Shea, Consultant for Infopeople

"Infopeople ( first partnered with Project Enable in 2018 to provide learning experiences relating to accessibility awareness and libraries. Infopeople’s expertise in developing and delivering online learning combined with Project Enable’s amazing efforts to build the capacity of library staff to provide equitable access and services to students with disabilities was a great matchup. Between online courses and a webinar, over 350 people participated in learning events related to issues around inclusion and accessibility in 2019-2020 and gained new knowledge and skills."

Applying Universal Design and WCAG 2.1 Guidelines to Web Accessibility

  October 25, 2020 |    Jennifer Thompson, G.A., Project ENABLE

"The Internet has become a commodity that we can’t live without. In 2016, access to the web was declared a human right by the United Nations. Equal access to information is a core value of librarianship, according to the American Library Association. One way that librarians promote equal access to information is by moving resources online. While moving the information online is a good first step, there are still barriers to access to consider."

What’s New for Project ENABLE and YOU in 2020?

  April 16, 2020 |    Dr. Ruth Small, Director, Project ENABLE

Lots of changes and additions to Project ENABLE, as we begin a new year and a new decade. First, we changed the name of our blog to “The Inclusive Librarian,” a name that better fits our mission to help librarians transform their libraries, striving to offer more accessible facilities, resources and technologies and more inclusive programs and services to all patrons. We’ve also given the Project ENABLE site a whole new look! You’ll be seeing changes and additions to our home page and to our content during the year. Finally, the Syracuse University Project ENABLE team is excited to announce that, in the latter part of 2019, we received our fifth IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grant for Project ENABLE, entitled “Library Services to Patrons with Disabilities: A Problem-Based Learning Approach.”

Identity First Versus Person First Language: The Other Side

  June 06, 2019 |    Guest Blogger: Remy Biggs, Library & Information Science Student, School of Information Studies, Syracuse University & Project Assistant, Project ENABLE

The two main ways of describing disability and individuals with disabilities are as follows: person first language and identity first language. While Project ENABLE made the conscious decision to use person-first, here we have one of our project assistants explaining why he personally uses identity-first language. 

The ENABLEd Librarian

  December 05, 2018 |    Dr. Ruth Small, Director, Project ENABLE

Project ENABLE's Treasure Trove of Resources

Have you searched Project's ENABLE's database of resources? It has over 1000 resources that are searchable by type of disability, audience (by grade level or adult), format (from books to reports, to videos to websites) and keyword (free text).

The ENABLED Librarian: April/May 2018

  May 01, 2018 |    Dr. Ruth V. Small, Ph.D., Director, Project ENABLE

Let's start this blog post with some questions. Do you know the answers?

  1. What does it mean to be a "spectrum disorder"?

  2. What type of disorder is autism?

  3. Can autism be caused by a child having an unloving mother?

(See the answers to these questions at the end of this post.)


The ENABLEd Librarian: Becoming an Inclusive Librarian in an Accessible Library

  March 01, 2018 |    Ruth V. Small, Ph.D., Director, Project ENABLE

Although ALA policies have long supported inclusion and accommodations for people with disabilities, librarians often lack the skills and knowledge to effectively design, implement and evaluate services, resources and programs for patrons with a range of physical, developmental and/or learning disabilities. While this can be a formidable challenge to some libraries and librarians, become acquainted with and applying the principles of Universal Design and Universal Design for Learning is a great place to start.

The ENABLED Librarian: Reunion Turns Into Collaboration

  February 01, 2018 |    Guest Blogger John Delich, Community Business Development Manager, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Springfield, IL


While staffing the Illinois School Library Media Association Conference in Springfield, Illinois, on behalf of Barnes and Noble, I ran into the parent of a former student of mine. Mary Pelich* and I first met several years ago when I taught her daughter in elementary school and a very positive parent/teacher relationship developed. As time passed, her children grew up, and I eventually retired. In catching up, she mentioned that her youngest was diagnosed with autism a few years back and went on to tell of the challenges in parenting a child with autism and her subsequent work with the Targeting Autism project at the Illinois State Library and her work with other not-for-profit autism organizations. After chatting and exchanging business cards, I suggested we should find a way to work together. In about an hour, Mary was back. She explained how the idea of working together had time to percolate as she walked around the conference exhibit hall. I didn't expect Mary to get back to me that same morning, but maybe I should have…

The ENABLED Librarian: Where There is No Library or Librarian

  January 01, 2018 |    Guest Blogger William N. Myhill, J.D., Director of Legal Research & Writing, Burton Blatt Institute, Syracuse University

Recently I've begun to wonder whether libraries can operate without a librarian. Some state and local school budgets have reduced or eliminated library staff funding. I've also been wondering what do people do for library services if they have no library. These questions have led me to wonder what Project ENABLE might offer schools, librarians, and communities in these situations....


The ENABLEd Librarian: A Pre-Service Librarian?s Perspective

  November 01, 2017 |    Guest Blogger: Amy Rohmiller, MSLIS Student, Library & Information Science, School of Information Studies, Syracuse University

Project ENABLE has been an invaluable resource in helping me learn more about creating opportunities for equal access. Like many pre-service librarians, I took the existing Project ENABLE training to gain more knowledge about providing effective library and information services to users with a range of disabilities...

Project Enable Blog