Museums and libraries can best serve the public by making their programs, collections, and facilities as widely accessible as possible. This means creating opportunities that go beyond basic requirements and thinking proactively about how to meet the needs of the whole community.
IMLS funding helps increase accessibility and maximize inclusion at museums and libraries throughout the nation. Grant projects have focused on improving the accessibility of nature center wildlife trails, training school librarians to better serve students with disabilities, and developing services for children with autism spectrum disorders.
IMLS requires all grantees to be in compliance with the nation’s accessibility laws, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Making Museums and Libraries More Accessible (PDF, 115KB) describes these regulatory provisions.
IMLS also works on the international stage to promote access for the blind and visually impaired. As a member of the U.S. delegation to the World Intellectual Property Organization, IMLS helps to facilitate access across national borders to special format materials that can be used by people with print disabilities.
For additional guidance from other organizations on promoting accessibility, see Accessibility Resources for Museums and Libraries.