Document Type

Dissertation

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Publication Date

10-2019

Abstract

Libraries provide a needed third place for students to engage with their peers and faculty, both academically and socially. Staff behavior, knowledge, and skills in providing an accessible and inclusive environment are key to helping students with disabilities feel that they belong in the libraries. This makes training in disability and accessibility awareness a necessary component of the overall program for the library. This study assessed a locally-developed, online training program for staff of all levels that was intended to improve staff knowledge and skills in disability etiquette, library services and spaces that support people with disabilities, and the policies that govern this work. The program used the four-part Deines-Jones (1999) model for its content and the core principles of andragogy for its instructional design. Assessment focused on changes in beliefs and knowledge using an adapted standardized scale, and evidence for learning from responses to training program questions, focus group discussions, and survey responses. Further development of the training program was informed by the principles of andragogy. Participants in the training program improved their scores in the knowledge domain but had no change in their beliefs domain. Learning was most evident in spaces where it engaged with previous knowledge and supportive customer service approaches. Participants identified and, in several cases, independently pursued new questions that were prompted by the training program. On the whole, participants found the training to be supportive and engaging, with minor changes to structure and focus recommended for the next iteration.

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