Abstract of T. Cohen Anderson lecture


T. Cohen Anderson, LRoffman
Collage of ManagmentIsrael

Integration in academic institutions is a clear and significant means for
socio-economic mobility and for promoting full and equal participation
in society. The value of academic education as leverage for improving
lives of people with disabilities has similarly been widely recognized.
The social model of disability that has developed in the wake of civil
rights movements shows how disability is caused by the gap between
the characteristics of the individual and the characteristics of his/her
environment. Thus it suggests that the best social response to
disability is to make the environment accessible to more diverse
populations. We will present an examination of a library services
within an academic institution. Libraries are a critical resource to
students, one that includes both physical and human dimensions.
Improving accessibility of academic libraries can be seen as a tool for
social change affecting the social mobility of people with disabilities. In
this context we will demonstrate that service accessibility is an
important leverage for changing the lived realities of people with
disabilities. Changes in service provision depend upon our ability to
promote changes in the attitudes of service providers and to bring the
issue to the public agenda. Our findings indicate a significant lack of
the resources required for academic services to be accessible to
people with disability. Presentation of the findings will be based on the
blockages model, with the two central blockages being the "packaging
blockage" (inaccessible formats) and the "psychological blockage".

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