Thursday, February 24, 2011

Miniature Horses @ Your Library?!

Training: ADA Update: Revised Regulations for Disability Accommodations for the Public
Date Attended: February 16, 2011
Staff Member: Tracy Carroll
Training Format: Webinar

Some of the newly revised American with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations take effect on March 14, 2011, and more are in the works. The webinar reviewed the upcoming changes and provided links and material for libraries to review. The notes with links are provided in this document - ADA Update.

3 Things I learned:
- While dogs are the most common service animals for people with disabilities, a miniature horse also qualifies as a service dog! Who knew! Don't be surprised if you see a miniature horse service animal @ your library! Dogs are the only animals recognized by the ADA, but miniature horses must also be recognized as a service animal if the size and weight can be accommodated. Localities may have different laws that recognize other animals, so always check local ordinances to see what qualifies as a service animal.
- The new standard for shelving in "new buildings" is now 48 inches, it was previously 54 inches. That standard goes into effect next year for buildings that are renovated or started after March 15, 2012.
- Didn't know that you couldn't ask the patron the nature of their disability or if the service animal is certified. Service animals don't need to be certified because they can be self-taught by the individual for their needs.

1 Thing I squared away:
- There are several sites that can check websites for compatibility for screen readers and the current resource that I use to check our websites for compatibility is one of the best ones available - WAVE.

Something I need to work on:
- Finding ways to modify "open source" code to make sure it compatible if I use it. Much of the "open source" code (which is free code that web developers post), works great but doesn't always comply with formatting for screen compatibility.