What Every Librarian Should Know about the Americans with Disabilities Act

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\"Reprinted from American Libraries, September 1991, This Article by Michael Gunde discusses some of the legal facets of providing library access to patrons with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act has made many librarians aware of a group of people who libraries have failed to serve. Some see the Americans with Disabilities Act as a newly imposed burden and seek only to find how to fulfill its minimum requirements with as little effort and cost as possible. Others see it as an exciting challenge to include entirely new populations of patrons into their service. What the law means and how to apply it is still in flux. Many specific items will only be defined through case law. In order to avoid the expense and unpleasant publicity of legal action, this article suggests that a pro-active policy can keep a library out of court and at the same time provide the satisfaction of giving meaningful access to previously under-served library users.\"

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