Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tipsheets from the American Library Association

York University Library
Now more than ever, libraries are a resource for their communities. Anyone can take advantage of a library for books, movies, job hunting, programs, author signings, homework help, and a wide variety of other services. Unfortunately, the one thing that can make or break a library is the staff. Staff who aren't trained well or who aren't motivated can make even the prettiest library with the largest collection a waste.

That is why I really like these tipsheets available from the American Library Association. They are not just useful for library staff (although I'm sure they will help). They are useful for anyone who might need to communicate with a person with a disability.

Whenever I see a tipsheet with advice like this, I like to take a look at the advice for communicating deaf and hard of hearing people. There is some great advice lurking in documents like these, but of course, some of them can be demeaning or off the mark. I like the tipsheet that ALA has drawn up, which is available in PDF form here. It has some good tips for me to give people when they seem nervous about talking to me or another deaf person.

One of the big tips there is to rephrase. The example they use is that someone might not understand quarter but might understand twenty-five cents. This is one of those things it can be really hard to get people to understand. A simple change of phrase can mean a lot.

Have you looked at any tipsheets for communicating with deaf and hard of hearing people? What do you think of them?

(via American Libraries)

1 comment:

  1. I remember a blogger who mentioned she wished people don't talk to her like a child. I explained to her that some people do that because they have to rephrase to something simple so we can understand better. There's nothing we can do about it if we keep saying "what?" all the time. This Library tip sheets is my proof of this.


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