Access for All
San Francisco Public Library
Innovation Leader: Kathy Lawhun, Chief of Main, firstname.lastname@example.org
Problem StatementSan Francisco is a leader in providing ADA access in all of its buildings and services. However, there are significant challenges to making physical buildings accessible. With the rapid changes in information technology and service delivery methods, libraries must be certain that all barriers to making libraries accessible for patrons with disabilities are addressed.
InnovationSFPL has implemented a comprehensive Accessibility Initiative covering virtual and physical programs, services, and spaces:
Technology & Tools: Specialized adaptive software and assistive listening devices are available at the Main Library. Through a grant, an Accessibility Toolkit was assembled with a variety of assistive equipment. Other tools developed include: a daily facility checklist with an ADA Standard Path Measure tool; iPad 2s with cameras for Deaf Service Center patrons; and a download station at the Library for the Blind & Print Disabled for new digital offerings from the National Library for the Blind.
Service Delivery: Accessibility Liaisons have been established in each branch library and on each floor of the Main Library. Staff is partnering with the Center for Accessible Technology to improve website accessibility. Print materials in alternative formats are being circulated and Toolkit binders are located at each location. Main Library unique services include: the Deaf Services Center with ASL staff; the Library for the Blind & Print Disabled; a Learning Differences collection and staff; and ASL training for staff. In recognition of the above services and innovations, Marti Goddard, Access Services Manager, received the 2010 Mayor’s Disability Council Award for Excellence.
Buildings: Through its capital building program, SFPL has met all new ADA codes and used this opportunity to work with library vendors to design new furniture that enhances accessibility and created detailed specifications now used in other libraries. Comprehensive procedures for maintaining accessible features including signage, clear paths of travel, door pressure, etc. have been developed.