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Mental Health and Disability Awareness Training

Arlington Heights Memorial Library

Contact Name: Shannon Distel,
Type of Initiative: Inclusion/Tolerance  


In anticipation of the Arlington Heights Memorial Library’s 2017 theme, Inspiring Understanding, and in response to staff input, two Chicago area organizations were invited to provide training specifically on communication and strategies for working with customers who are experiencing mental health issues or have a disability. In September 2016, with a focus on mental health awareness, Vision for Change founder Pat Doyle presented on best practices for communicating and working with persons experiencing mental illness. In November 2016, a full cast of Disability Awareness Players from JJ’s List presented a workshop to increase awareness and confidence during interactions with people who have disabilities. Staff learned about Person First Language to communicate respectfully and appropriately with customers and co-workers with disabilities. To further support a welcoming and accessible environment, examples of appropriate etiquette during interactions with people with mental health issues and people with disabilities were demonstrated. Staff feedback on these training opportunities commended and supported the library’s commitment to equal access and inclusion.

For more information on the organizations who provided training, please visit:

JJ’s List

Vision for Change